THE PLANETS ?
in the Rormd
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Build any one of 34 exciting electric brain machines in just
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even a 12-year-old can make a machine that will fascinate peo-
ple with advanced scientific training ! Using a statistical anal-
ysis of simple tones plus the special circuitry of GENIAC, the
Electric Brain Construction Kit, you can compose original tunes
automatically. These new circuits are not available elsewhere !
Over 400 Components and Parts. Circuits operate on one
flashlight battery, and the use of ingeniously designed parts
makes building circuits one of the most fascinating things
you've ever done ! You set up problems in a variety of fields —
and get your answers almost quicker than you can set them up !
Play games with the machine 1 — nim, tic-tac-toe, etc. — and pit
your brain against its logic ! Solve puzzles in a few seconds that
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algebraic solutions transferred directly into circuit diagrams.
Your Cost for Geniac Kit : only $19.95 postpaid. The 1957
Model GENIAC KIT contains: (1) a complete 200-page text,
"Minds and Machines" — a basic introduction to computers.
(2) "How to Construct Electrical Brains At Home"— a fully
illustrated text book on basic computer design theory and circuits
with specific instructions for building circuits. (3) Wiring Dia-
gram Manual. A special booklet with full-scale diagrams that you
can tear out and place on your work bench for easy assembly.
(4) Beginners' Manual. Starting from scratch, the manual adds
fifteen extra experiments, thoroughly tested using GENIAC
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(5) Over 400 components and parts.
Mail today . . . Check, Cash or Money Order f1AftC
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Each Wednesday nite on Radio.'
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Galaxy — forcefully
— its Naturally your
Best Choice for tops in adult Science
X-l=The choice from Galaxy, adapted by the tops at N.B.G
VOL. 14, NO. 1
ALL ORIGINAL STORIES • NO REPRINTS!
SURVIVAL KIT by Frederik Pohl 6
A TOUCH OF E FLAT by Joe Gibson 76
TIME IN THE ROUND by Fritz Leiber 126
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Robert Sheckley 39
FOUNDING FATHER by Clifford D. Simak 63
DOUBLE DOME by Raymond E. Banks 97
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST by Richard Wilson 111
FOR YOUR INFORMATION by Willy Ley 51
Who'll Own the Planets?
EDITOR'S PAGE by H. L. Gold 4
GALAXY'S FIVE STAR SHELF by Floyd C Gale 122
Cover by PEDERSON Showing PORT OF ENTRY — PHOBOS
ROBERT M. GUINN, Publisher H. L. GOLD, Editor
WILLY LEY, Science Editor
W. I. VAN DER POEL, Art Director JOAN J. De MARIO, Production Manager
GALAXY Science Fiction is published monthly by Galaxy Publishing Corporation. Main offices:
421 Hudson Street, New York 14, N. Y. 35c per copy. Subscription: (12 copies) $3.50 per
year in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and U. S. Possessions.
Elsewhere $4.50. Entered as second-class matter at the Post Office, New York, N. Y. Copyright,
New York 1957, by Galaxy Publishing Corporation, Robert M. Guinn, president. All rights, includ-
ing translations reserved. All material submitted must be accompanied by self-addressed stamped
envelopes. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All stories printed in
this magazine are fiction, and any similarity between characters and actual persons is coincidental.
Printed in the U.S.A. by The Guinn Co., Inc., N. Y. 14, N. Y. Title Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
BEHIND THE CO
TF, LIKE ME, you squirrel
■*■ away odd facts, you'll remem-
ber this item as a sure way to
steer dull table talk into a merry
There are invariably nine,
eleven or thirteen rows of kernels
on an ear of corn.
Detective writer and gardener
Rex Stout had a fine time with
this fact. When a rival gardener
got Stout's back up with his hor-
ticultural dogmas, the author
pounced on the above statement
with the information that his corn
always had even rows of kernels.
The argument led to a $100 bet.
As devious in gardening as he
is in plotting, Stout does such
things as pinch off all but one bud
on branch or vine. The plants
then throw all they have into the
production of monstrously huge
fruit. None is fit to eat, but they
cop the prizes at fairs.
To win the $100, Stout care-
fully opened several very young
ears of corn in his garden and
surgically removed a single row
of kernels on each ear. Then he
closed them and let them grow.
At the end of the summer, he
was able to watch his rival's dis-
mayed face while counting all
even rows. The man paid up, his
dogmatism badly shaken. Stout
let it shake for a while, then con-
fessed the trick and handed back
It's fitting that a detective
writer should be involved, for
corn is as much of a mystery as
bananas, of which I wrote some
months ago. (This, incidentally,
is a good time to credit Jim Bros-
chart with the formula BA-f-
2NA=BaNaNa. It appeared in
Grue, an admirable fan magazine,
as you can judge by this sample
contribution.) I remembered the
Stout anecdote when reading
"The Mystery of Corn" by Paul
C. Mangelsdorf in the Scientific
American Reader, published by
Simon 8b Schuster.
Not wheat but corn, says the
author, is the American staff of
life, for corn is the most impor-
tant and efficient plant we have.
Yet, like the banana, corn "has
become so highly domesticated
that it is no longer capable of re-
producing itself without man's in-
tervention. . . . The ear of corn
has no counterpart anywhere else
in the plant kingdom, either in
nature or among other cultivated
plants. It is superbly constructed
for producing grain under man's
(Continued on Page 144)
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
DON'T BE HALF-SATISFIED !
Reading one of this towering pair of science fiction novels as
the current GALAXY serial, you're discovering the vast talent of
Alfred Bester. *
But have you read his famed THE DEMOLISHED MAN ? Lived
in its vividly real telepathic society, detailed so ingeniously and dra-
matically that, finishing the book, you'll find it hard to believe that
society doesn't exist — yet !
By special arrangment with the publisher of THE DEMOLISHED
MAN, we can offer you this magnificent book for $1.50, half the
regular price . . . and we pay the postage !
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■: . X
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acting right now.
NOT limited, but don't let that keep you from
Send your $1.50 immediately to . . .
□ copies of
THE DEMOLISHED MAN
GALAXY PUBLISHING CORP.
421 Hudson St.
THE DEMOLISHED MAN
Edition — Complete!
Not A Low Cost
Yet Yours For
By FREDERIK POHL
If wasn't fair— a smart hut luckless man
like Mooney had to scrounge, while I
always made out just because he had
i — *
Illustrated by GAUGHAN
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
OONEY looked out of
his window, and the sky
It was a sudden, bright, cold
flare and it was gone again. It
had no more features than a fog,
at least not through the window
that was showered with snow
and patterned with spray from
the windy sea.
Mooney blew on his hands and
frowned at the window.
"Son of a gun," he said, and
thought for a moment about
phoning the Coast Guard station.
Of course, that meant going a
quarter of a mile in the storm to
reach the only other house near-
by that was occupied; the Han-
sons had a phone that worked,
but a quarter of a mile was a
long way in the face of a Decem-
ber gale. And it was all dark out
there now. Less than twenty miles
across the bay was New York,
but this Jersey shore coast was
i* * i
harsh as the face of the Moon.
Mooney decided it was none
of his business.
He shook the kettle, holding it
with an old dish towel because
it was sizzling hot. It was nearly
empty, so he filled it again and
put it back on the stove. He had
all four top burners and the oven
going, which made the kitchen
tolerably warm — as long as he
wore the scarf and the heavy
quilted jacket and kept his hands
in his pockets. And there was
plenty of tea.
Uncle Lester had left that much
behind him — plenty of tea, near-
ly a dozen boxes of assorted
cookies and a few odds and ends
of canned goods. And God's own
quantity of sugar.
It wasn't exactly a balanced
LllCL, UUL J.VJLUvsuC.y Hau lived un
it for three weeks now — smoked
turkey sausages for breakfast, and
oatmeal cookies for lunch, and
canned black olives for dinner.
And always plenty of tea.
f I 1 HE wind screamed at him
■■■ as he poured the dregs of his
three o'clock, and then he could
go to bed and, with any luck,
sleep till past noon.
And Uncle Lester had left a
couple of decks of sticky, child-
handled cards behind him, too,
when the family went back to
the city at the end of the sum-
mer. So what with four kinds of
solitaire, and solo bridge, and
television, and a few more naps,
Mooney could get through to the
next two or three a.m. again. If
only the wind hadn't blown down
But as it was, all he could get
on the cheap little set his uncle
had left behind was a faint gray
herringbone pattern —
He straightened up with the
kettle in his hand, listening.
It was almost as though some-
body was knocking at the door.
"That's crazy," Mooney said
out loud after a moment. He
poured the water over the tea
bag, tearing a little corner off
the paper tag on the end of the
string to mark the fact that this
was the second cup he had made
with the bag. He had found he
last cup of tea into the sink and could get three cups out of a
spooned sugar into the cup for
the next one. It was, he calcu-
lated, close to midnight. If the
damn wind hadn't blown down
the TV antenna, he could be
watching the late movies now. It
helped to pass the time; the last
movie was off the air at two or
single bag, but even loaded with
sugar, the fourth cup was no
longer very good. Still, he had
carefully saved all the used, dried-
out bags against the difficult fu-
ture day when even the tea would
That was going to be one bad
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
day for Howard Mooney.
Rap, tap. It really was some-
one at the door! Not knocking,
exactly, but either kicking at it
or striking it with a stick.
Mooney pulled his jacket tight
around him and walked out into
the frigid living room, not quite
so frigid as his heart.
"Damn!" he said. "Damn,
What Mooney knew for sure
was that nothing good could be
coming in that door for him. It
might be a policeman from Sea
Bright, wondering about the light
in the house; it might be a mem-
ber of his uncle's family. It was
even possible that one of the
stockholders who had put up the
money for that unfortunate ven-
ture into frozen-food club man-
agement had tracked him down
as far as the Jersey shore. It
could be almost anything or any-
body, but it couldn't be good.
All the same, Mooney hadn't
expected it to turn out to be a
tall, lean man with angry pale
eyes, wearing a silvery sort of
^T come in," said the angry
man, and did.
Mooney slm7£? ed the door be "
hind him. Too bad, tiu! he
couldn't keep it open, even if it
was conceding a sort of moral
right to enter to the stranger;
he couldn't have all that cold air
coming in to dilute his little
bubble of warmth.
"What the devil do you want?"
The angry man looked about
him with an expression of revul-
sion. He pointed to the kitchen.
"It is warmer. In there?"
"I suppose so. What do — " But
the stranger was already walking
into the kitchen. Mooney scowled
and started to follow, and stopped,
and scowled even more. The
stranger was leaving footprints
behind him, or anyway some kind
of marks that showed black on
the faded summer rug. True, he
was speckled with snow, but —
that much snow? The man was
drenched. It looked as though
he had just come out of the
The stranger stood by the stove
and glanced at Mooney warily.
Mooney stood six feet, but this
man was bigger. The silvery sort
of thing he had on covered his
legs as far as the feet, and he
wore no shoes. It covered his
body and his arms, and he had
silvery gloves on his hands. It
stopped at the neck, in a collar
of what locked like pure silver,
but could not have been because
it gave with every breath the man
took and every tensed muscle or
+«r^ o n in his neck. His head was
bare and his u21T was black > cut
He was carrying something flat
and shiny by a molded handle.
If it had been made of pigskin,
it would have resembled a junior
The man said explosively : "You
will help me."
Mooney cleared his throat.
"Listen, I don't know what you
want, but this is my house and-
"You will help me," the man
said positively. "I will pay you.
He had a peculiar way of part-
ing his sentences in the middle,
but Mooney didn't care about
looked into it, squeezing it by
the edges, and holding it this way
Finally he said: "I must go to
Wednesday, the twenty-sixth of
December, at — " He tilted the
little round thing again. "Brook-
lyn?" he finished triumphantly.
Mooney said, after a second:
"That's a funny way to put it."
"I mean," said Mooney, "I
know where Brooklyn is and I
know when the twenty-sixth of
December is — it's next week —
that. He suddenly cared about but you have to admit that that's
one thing and that was the word
"What do you want me to
an odd way of putting it. I mean
you don't go anywhere in time."
The wet man turned his pale
eyes on Mooney. "Perhaps you
The angry-eyed man ran his are. Wrong?"
gloved hands across his head and
sluiced drops of water onto the
scuffed linoleum and the bedding
of the cot Mooney had dragged
into the kitchen. He said irritably:
"I am a wayfarer who needs a.
Guide? I will pay you for your
The question that rose to
Mooney's lips was "How much?"
but he fought it back. Instead, he
asked, "Where do you want to
"One moment." The stranger
sat damply oh the edge of
Mooney's cot and, click-*^' t ^ e
11/rOONEY stared at his nap-
-*-" ping guest in a mood of won-
der and fear and delight.
Time traveler! But it was hard
to doubt the pale-eyed man. He
had said he was from the future
and he mentioned a datp +Yiax
made MCGIiey gasp. He had said :
"When you speak to me, you
must know that my. Np^ ie ) j s
Harse." And ^ ien he had curled
Up on the floor, surrounding his
shiny briefcase like a mother cat
s my sort o une f case opened it- around a kitten, and begun doz-
-* * m his hands. He took out a
flat round thing like a mirror and
But not before he showed
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"No, no\" said Harse again,
grinning, snapping the balls to-
gether like poppets in a string.
"After you have guided me to
Brooklyn and the December
twenty-sixth. But I must say to
you. This? That some of the balls
contain plutonium and some radi-
um. And I do not think that you
can get them. Open? But if you
did, you perhaps would die. Oh.
Ho?" And, laughing, he began his
OONEY swallowed the last
of his icy tea. It was full
Very well, castaway, he said
silently to the dozing pale-eyed
man, I will guide you. Oh, there
Mooney just what it was he pro-
posed to pay him with.
Mooney sipped his cooling tea
and forgot to shiver, though the
drafts were fiercer and more bit-
ing than ever, now just before
dawn. He was playing with what
had looked at first like a string
of steel ball-bearings, a child's
necklace, half-inch spheres linked
together in a strand a yard long.
Wampum! That was what
Harse had called the spheres
when he picked the string out of
his little kit, and that was what
Each ball-bearing was hollow.
Open them up and out come the
treasures of the crown. Pop, and
one of the spheres splits neatly
in half, and out spills a star sap- never was a guide like Mooney —
not when a guide's fee can run
so high. But when you are where
you want to go, then we'll discuss
the price ...
A hacksaw, he schemed, and a
Geiger counter. He had worn his
fingers raw trying to find the little
button or knob that Harse had
used to open them. All right, he
was licked there. But there were
more ways than one to open a
A hacksaw. A Geiger counter.
And, Mooney speculated drow-
sily, maybe a gun, if the pale-
eyed man got tough.
Mooney fell asleep in joy and
anticipation for the first time in
more than a dozen years.
phire, as big as the ball of your
finger, glittering like the muted
lights of hell. Pop, and another
sphere drops a ball of yellow gold
into your palm. Pop for a nar-
whal's tooth, pop for a cube of
sugar; pop, pop, and there on the
table before Harse sparkled dia-
monds and lumps of coal, a packet
of heroin, a sphere of silver,
pearls, beads of glass, machined
pellets of tungsten, lumps of saf-
fron and lumps of salt.
"It is," said Harse, "for your.
Pay? No, no\" And he headed off
Mooney's greedy fingers.
Click, click, click, and the little
pellets of treasure and trash were
back in the steel balls.
T WAS bright the next morn-
ing. Bright and very cold.
"Look alive!" Mooney said to
the pale-eyed man, shivering. It
had been a long walk from Uncle
Lester's house to the bridge, in
that ripping, shuddering wind that
came in off the Atlantic.
Harse got up off his knees, from
where he had been examining the
asphalt pavement under the snow.
He stood erect beside Mooney,
while Mooney put on an egg-
sucking smile and aimed his
thumb down the road.
The station wagon he had spot-
ted seemed to snarl and pick up
speed as it whirled past them
onto the bridge.
"I hope you skid into a ditch!"
"Here comes another. Car?"
Mooney dragged back the
corners of his lips into another
smile and held out his thumb.
It was a panel truck, light blue,
with the sides lettered: Chris's
Delicatessen. Free Deliveries. The
driver slowed up, looked them
over and stopped. He leaned
toward the right-hand window.
He called: "I can take you
f ar's Red Ba -"
He got a good look at Mooney's
companion then and swallowed.
Harse had put on an overcoat
because Mooney insisted on it
and he wore a hat because
Mooney had told him flatly there
would be trouble and questions
if he didn't. But he hadn't taken
Mooney bawled into the icy air. off his own silvery leotard, which
He was in a fury. There was a peeped through between neck and
bus line that went where they hat and where the coat flapped
wanted to go. A warm, comfort-
able bus that would stop for them
if they signaled, that would drop
them just where they wanted to
be, to convert one of Harse's ball-
bearings into money. The gold
one, Mooney planned. Not the
diamond, not the pearl. Just a
few dollars was all they wanted,
in this Jersey shore area where
the towns were small and the
gossip big. Just the price of fare
into New York, where they could
make their way to Tiffany's.
But the bus cost thirty-five
cents apiece. Total, seventy cents.
Which they didn't have.
" — ank," finished the driver
Mooney didn't give him a
chance to change his mind. "Red
Bank is just where we want to
go. Come on!" Already he had his
hand on the door. He jumped in,
made room for Harse, reached
over him and slammed the door.
"Thank you very much," he
said chattily to the driver. "Cold
morning, isn't it? And that was
some storm last night. Say, we
really do appreciate this. Any-
where in Red Bank will be all
right to drop us, anywhere at all."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
He leaned forward slightly, just
enough to keep the driver from
being able to get a really good
look at his other passenger.
It would have gone all right,
it really would, except that just
past Fair Haven, Harse suddenly
announced: "It is the time for me
TT E SNIP-SNAPPED some-
■*•■*■ thing around the edges of the
gleaming sort of dispatch case,
which opened. Mooney, peering
over his shoulder, caught glimpses
of shiny things and spinning
things and things that seemed to
glow. So did the driver.
"Hey," he said, interested,
"what've you got there?"
"My business," said Harse,
calmly and crushingly.
The driver blinked. He opened
his mouth, and then he shut it
again, and his neck became rather
Mooney said rapidly: "Say,
isn't there — uh — isn't there a lot
of snow?" He feigned fascination
with the snow on the road, lean-
one end and little pellets dropped
out into a cup. Harse picked a
couple up and began to chew
them. A flat, round object the
shape of a cafeteria pie flipped
open and something gray and
doughy appeared —
Mooney's face slammed into
the windshield as the driver
tramped on his brakes. Not that
Mooney could really blame him.
The smell from that doughy mass
could hardly be believed; and
what made it retchingly worse
was that Harse was eating it with
a pearly small spoon.
The driver said complainingly:
"Out! Out, you guys! I don't mind
giving you a lift, but I've got
hard rolls in the back of the
truck and that smell's going to
— Out! You heard me!"
"Oh," said Harse, tasting hap-
"No?" roared the driver. "Now
listen! I don't have to take any
lip from hitchhikers! I don't have
"One moment," said Harse.
ing forward until his face was "Please." Without hurry and with-
nearly at the frosty windshield.
"My gosh, I've never seen the
road so snowy!"
Beside him, Harse was method-
ically taking things out of other
things. A little cylinder popped
open and began to steam; he put
it to his lips and drank. A cube
the size of a fist opened up at
out delay, beaming absently at
the driver, he reached into the
silvery case again. Snip, snippety-
snap; a jointed metal thing wrig-
gled and snicked into place. And
Harse, still beaming, pointed it
at the driver.
Pale blue light and a faint
It was a good thing the truck
was halted, because the whining
blue light reached diffidently out
and embraced the driver; and
then there was no driver. There
was nothing. He was gone, beyond
the reach of any further lip from
^ O THERE was Mooney, driv-
^ ing a stolen panel truck,
Mooney the bankrupt, Mooney
the ne'er-do-well, and now
Mooney the accomplice murderer.
Or so he thought, though the
pale-eyed man had laughed like a
panther when he'd asked.
He rehearsed little speeches all
the day down U.S. One, Mooney
did, and they all began: "Your
Honor, I didn't know-
Well, he hadn't. How could a
man like Mooney know that
Harse was so bereft of human
compassion as to snuff out a life
for the sake of finishing his lunch
in peace? And what could Mooney
have done about it, without draw-
ing the diffident blue glow to
himself? No, Your Honor, really,
Your Honor, he took me by sur-
But by the time they ditched
the stolen car, nearly dry of gas,
at the Hoboken ferry, Mooney
had begun to get his nerve back.
In fact, he was beginning to per-
ceive that in that glittering sil-
very dispatch case that Harse
hugged to him were treasures
that might do wonders for a smart
man unjustly dogged by hard
times. The wampum alone! But
beyond the wampum, the other
good things that might in time
be worth more than any amount
of mere money.
There was that weapon.
Mooney cast a glance at Harse,
blank-eyed and relaxed, very
much disinterested in the crowds
of commuters on the ferry.
Nobody in all that crowd would
believe that Harse could pull out
a little jointed metal thing and
push a button and make any one
of them cease to exist. Nobody
would believe it — not even a
jury. Corpus delicti, body of evi-
dence — why, there would be no
evidence! It was a simple, work-
able, foolproof way of getting
any desired number of people out
of the way without fuss, muss or
bother — and couldn't a smart but
misfortunate man like Mooney
do wonders by selectively remov-
ing those persons who stood as
obstacles in his path?
And there would be more,
much, much more. The thing to
do, Mooney schemed, was to find
out just what Harse had in that
kit and how to work it; and then
-^ who could know, perhaps Harse
would himself find the diffident
blue light reaching out for him
before the intersection of Brook-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
lyn and December twenty-sixth?
"Ah," laughed Harse. "Ho! I
perceive what you want. You
think perhaps there is something
you can use in my survival kit."
"All right, Harse," Mooney said
submissively, but he did have
First, it was important to find
out just what was in the kit. After
Well, even a man from the fu-
ture had to sleep.
ll/TOONEY was in a roaring
-*•" rage. How dared the Gov-
ernment stick its bureaucratic
nose into a simple transaction of
citizens! But it turned out to be
astonishingly hard to turn Harse's
wampum into money. The first
jeweler asked crudely threatening
questions about an emerald the
size of the ball of his thumb; the
second quoted chapter and verse
on the laws governing possession
of gold. Finally they found a
pawnbroker, who knowingly ac-
cepted a diamond that might
have been worth a fortune; and
when they took his first offer of
a thousand dollars, the pawn-
broker's suspicions were con-
firmed. Mooney dragged Harse
away from there fast.
But they did have a thousand
and by the time they reached the
other side, he was entirely con-
tent. What was a fortune more
or less to a man who very nearly
owned some of the secrets of the
He sat up, lit a cigarette, waved
an arm and said expansively to
: "Our new home."
The pale-eyed man took a glow-
ing little affair with eyepieces
away from in front of his eyes.
"Ah," he said. "So."
It was quite an attractive ho-
tel, Mooney thought judiciously.
It did a lot to take away the
sting of those sordidly avaricious
jewelers. The lobby was an im-
pressively close approximation of
a cathedral and the bellboys
looked smart and able.
Harse made an asthmatic
sound. "What is. That?" He was
pointing at a group of men stand-
ing in jovial amusement around
the entrance to the hotel's grand
ballroom, just off the lobby. They
were purple harem pants and
floppy green hats, and every one
of them carried a silver-paper imi-
tation of a scimitar.
Mooney chuckled in a superior
way. "You aren't up on our local
customs, are you? That's a con-
vention, Harse. They dress up
that way because they belong to
a lodge. A lodge is a kind of
fraternal organization, A fraternal
As the cab took them across organization is
town, Mooney simmered down;
Harse said abruptly: "I want."
Mooney began to feel alarm.
"I want one for a. Specimen?
Wait, I think I take the big one
"Harse! Wait a minute!"
Mooney clutched at him. "Hold
everything, man! You can't do
Harse stared at him. "Why?"
"Because it would upset every-
thing, that's why! You want to
get to your rendezvous, don't
you? Well, if you do anything
like that, we'll never get there!"
"Please," Mooney said, "please
take my word for it. You hear
me? I'll explain later!"
Harse looked by no means con-
vinced, but he stopped opening
the silvery metal case. Mooney
kept an eye on him while register-
ing. Harse continued to watch the
conventioneers, but he went no
further. Mooney began to breathe
"Thank you, sir," said the desk
clerk — not every guest, even in
this hotel, went for a corner suite
with two baths. "Front!"
A SMART-LOOKING bellboy
-^*- stepped forward, briskly took
the key from the clerk, briskly
nodded at Mooney and Harse.
With the automatic reflex of any
hotel bellhop, he reached for
Harse's silvery case. Baggage was
baggage, however funny it looked.
But Harse was not just any old
guest. The bellboy got the bag
away from him, all right, but his
victory was purely transitory. He
yelled, dropped the bag, grabbed
his fist with the other hand.
"Hey! It shocked me! What
kind of tricks are you trying to
do with electric suitcases?"
Mooney moaned softly. The
whole lobby was looking at them
— even the conventioneers at the
entrance to the ballroom; even
the men in mufti mingling with
the conventioneers, carrying cam-
eras and flash guns; even the very
doorman, the whole lobby away.
That was bad. What was worse
was that Harse was obviously get-
"Wait, wait!" Mooney stepped
between them in a hurry. "I can
explain everything. My friend is,
uh, an inventor. There's some
very important material in that
briefcase, believe me!"
He winked, patted the bellhop
on the shoulder, took his hand
with friendly concern and left in
it a folded bill.
"Now," he said confidentially,
"we don't want any disturbance.
I'm sure you understand how it
is, son. Don't you? My friend
can't take any chances with his,
uh, confidential material, you see?
Right. Well, let's say no more
about it. Now if you'll show us
to our room-
The bellhop, still stiff-backed,
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
glanced down at the bill and the
stiffness disappeared as fast as
sprayed out of it in a greasy jet.
It billowed towaro?Harse. It col-
any truckdriver bathed in Harse's lected around him, swirled high.
pale blue haze. He looked up again Now all the flashguns were pop-
It was a clear waste of a twenty-
dollar bill, Mooney told himself
aggrievedly out on the sidewalk.
There had been no point in but-
tering up the bellhop as long as
Harse was going to get them
thrown out anyway.
"Sorry, sir — " he began.
But he didn't finish. Mooney
had let Harse get out of his sight
a moment too long.,
The first warning he had was
when there was a sudden commo-
tion among the lodge brothers.
Mooney turned, much too late.
There was Harse; he had wan-
dered over there, curious and in-
terested and — Harse. He had
stared them up and down, but he
hadn't been content to stare. He
had opened the little silvery dis-
patch-case and taken out of it
the thing that looked like a film
viewer; and maybe it was a cam-
era, too, because he was looking
through it at the conventioneers.
He was covering them as Dixie
is covered by the dew, up and
down, back and forth, heels to
And it was causing a certain
amount of attention. Even one
of the photographers thought
maybe this funny-looking guy
with the funny-looking opera
glasses was curious enough to be
worth a shot. After all, that was
what the photographer was there
for. He aimed and popped a flash
There was an abrupt thin
squeal from the box. Black fog
N the other side of the East
River, in a hotel that fell
considerably below Mooney's re-
cent, brief standards of excellence,
Mooney cautiously tipped a bell-
boy, ushered him out, locked the
door behind him and, utterly ex-
hausted, flopped on one of the
Harse glanced at him briefly,
then wandered over to the win-
dow and stared incuriously at the
soiled snow outside.
"You were fine, Harse," said
Mooney without spirit. "You
didn't do anything wrong at all."
"Ah," said Harse without turn-
Mooney sat up, reached for the
phone, demanded setups and a
bottle from room service and
"Oh, well," he said, beginning
to revive, "at least we're in Brook-
lyn now. Maybe it's just as well."
"As well. What?"
"I mean this is where you
wanted to be. Now we just have
to wait four days, until the twenty-
sixth. We'll have to raise some
more money, of course," he added
Harse turned and looked at him
with the pale eyes. "One thousand
dollars you have. Is not enough?"
"Oh, no, Harse," Pvlooney as-
sured him. "Why, that won't be
nearly enough. The room rent in
this hotel alone is likely to use
that up. Besides all the extras, of
"Ah." Harse, looking bored, sat
down in the chair near Mooney,
opened his kit, took out the thing
that looked like a film viewer
and put it to his eyes.
"We'll have to sell some more
of those things. After all — "
Mooney winked and dug at the
pale-eyed man's ribs with his el-
bow —"we'll be needing some,
Harse took the viewer away
from his eyes. He glanced thought-
fully at the elbow and then at
Mooney. "So," he said.
Mooney coughed and changed
the subject. "One thing, though,"
he begged. "Don't get me in any
more trouble like you did in that
hotel lobby — or with that guy in
the truck. Please? I mean, after
all, you're making it hard for me
to carry out my job."
Harse was thoughtfully silent.
"Promise?" Mooney urged.
Harse said, after some more
consideration : "It is hot altogether
me. That is to say, it is a mat-
ter of defense. My picture should
not be. Photographed? So the sur-
vival kit insures that it is not.
Mooney leaned back. "You
mean — " The bellboy with the
drinks interrupted him; he took
the bottle, signed the chit, tipped
the boy and mixed himself a rea-
sonably stiff but not quite stupe-
fying highball, thinking hard.
"Did you say 'survival kit'?" he
asked at last.
Harse was deep in the viewer
again, but he looked away from
it irritably. "Naturally, survival
kit. So that I can. Survive?" He
went back to the viewer.
Mooney took a long, thought-
ful slug of the drink.
^URVIVAL kit. Why, that
^ made sense. When the Air
Force boys went out and raided
the islands in the Pacific during
the war, sometimes they got shot
down — and it was enemy terri-
tory, or what passed for it. Those
islands were mostly held by Japa-
nese, though their populations
hardly knew it. All the aborigi-
nals knew was that strange birds
crossed the sky and sometimes
men came from them. The poli-
tics of the situation didn't interest
the headhunters. What really in-
terested them was heads.
But for a palatable second
CT i O N
choice, they would settle for trade
goods — cloth, mirrors, beads.
And so the bomber pilots were
equipped with survival kits —
maps, trade goods, rations, wea-
pons, instructions for proceeding
to a point where, God willing, a
friendly submarine might put
ashore a rubber dinghy to take
Mooney said persuasively :
"Harse. I'm sorry to bother you,
but we have to talk." The man
with the pale eyes took them
away from the viewer again and
stared at Mooney. "Harse, were
you shot down like an airplane
TTARSE frowned— not in anger,
-■"■- or at least not at Mooney.
It was the effort to make himself
understood. He said at last: "Yes.
Call it that."
"And — and this place you want
to go to — is that where you will
Aha, thought Mooney, and the
glimmerings of a new idea began
to kick and stretch its fetal limbs
inside him. He put it aside, to
bear and coddle in private. He
said: "Tell me more. Is there any
particular part of Brooklyn you
have to go to?"
"Ah. The Nexus Point?" Harse
put down the viewer and, snap-
snap, opened the gleaming kit.
He took out the little round thing
he had consuked in the house by
the cold Jersey sea. He tilted it
this way and that, frowned, con-
sulted a small square sparkly
thing that came from another part
of the case, tilted the round
"Correcting for local time," he
said, "the Nexus Point is one hour
and one minute after midnight
at what is called. The Vale of
Mooney scratched his ear. "The
Vale of Cashmere? Where the
devil is that — somewhere in
"Brooklyn," said Harse with an
imp's grimace. "You are the guide
and you do not know where you
are guiding me to?"
Mooney said hastily : "All right,
Harse, all right. I'll find it. But
tell me one thing, will you? Just
suppose — suppose, I said — that
for some reason or other, we
don't make it to the what-you-
call, Nexus Point. Then what hap-
Harse for once neither laughed
nor scowled. The pale eyes opened
wide and glanced around the
room, at the machine-made can-
dlewick spreads on the beds, at
the dusty red curtains that made
a "suite" out of a long room, at
the dog-eared Bible that lay on
the night table.
"Suh," he stammered, "suh —
suh — seventeen years until there
is another Nexus Point!"
OONEY dreamed miraculous
dreams and not entirely be-
cause of the empty bottle that
had been full that afternoon.
There never was a time, never
will be a time, like the future
Mooney dreamed of — Mooney-
owned, houri-inhabited, a fair do-
main for a live-wire Emperor of
the Eons . . .
He woke up with a splitting
whatever; and besides, he didn't
seem to be able to move.
Thought Mooney with anger
and desperation: I'm dead. And:
What a time to die!
But second thoughts changed
his mind; there was no heaven
and no hell, in all the theologies
he had investigated, that included
being walked over by tiny spiders
of ice. He felt them. There was
no doubt about it.
It was Harse, of course — had
to be. Whatever he was up to,
Even a man from the future Mooney couldn't say, but as he
had to sleep, so Mooney had lay there sweating cold sweat and
thought, and it had been in his
mind that, even this first night,
it might pay to stay awake a
little longer than Harse, just in
case it might then seem like a
good idea to — well, to bash him
over the head and grab the bag.
But the whiskey had played him
dirty and he had passed out —
drunk, blind drunk, or at least
he hoped so. He hoped that he
hadn't seen what he thought he
had seen sober.
He woke up and wondered
what was wrong. Little tinkling
ice spiders were moving around
him. He could hear their tiny
crystal sounds and feel their chill
legs, so lightly, on him. It was
still a dream — wasn't it?
Or was he awake? The thing
was, he couldn't tell. If he was
awake, it was the middle of the
night, because there was no light
feeling the crawling little feet, he
knew that it was something Harse
had made happen.
Little by little, he began to
be able to see — not much, but
enough to see that there really
was something crawling. What-
ever the things were, they had a
faint, tenuous glow, like the face
of a watch just before dawn. He
couldn't make out shapes, but he
could tell the size — not much
bigger than a man's hand — and
he could tell the number, and
there were dozens of them.
He couldn't turn his head, but
on the walls, on his chest, on his
face, even on the ceiling, he could
see faint moving patches of fox-
HE TOOK a deep breath.
"Harse!" he started to call;
wake him up, make him stop this!
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
But he couldn't. He got no fur-
ther than the first huff of the
aspirate when the scurrying cold
feet were on his lips. Something
cold and damp lay across them
and it stuck. Like spider silk, but
stronger — he couldn't speak,
couldn't move his lips, though he
almost tore the flesh.
Oh, he could make a noise, all
right. He started to do so, to
snort and hum through his nose.
But Mooney was not slow of
thought and he had a sudden
clear picture of that same cold
ribbon crossing his nostrils, and
what would be the use of all of
time's treasures then, when it was
no longer possible to breathe at
It was quite apparent that he
was not to make a noise.
He had patience — the kind of
patience that grows with a diet
of thrice-used tea bags and soggy
crackers. He waited.
across the window; and he shud-
dered, because that had been no
fantasy. The window was cur-
tained. And it was mid-morning,
at the earliest, because the cham-
bermaids were cleaning the halls.
Why couldn't he move? He
flexed the muscles of his arms
and legs, but nothing happened.
He could feel the muscles strain-
ing, he could feel his toes and
fingers twitch, but he was re-
strained by what seemed a web
of Gulliver's cords ...
There was a tap at the door.
A pause, the scratching of a key,
and the room was flooded with
light from the hall.
Out of the straining corner of
his eye, Mooney saw a woman in
a gray cotton uniform, carrying
fresh sheets, standing in the door-
way, and her mouth was hang-
ing slack. No wonder, for in the
light from the hall, Mooney could
see the room festooned with sil-
It wasn't the middle of the ver, with darting silvery shapes
night after all, he perceived, moving about. Mooney himself
though it was still utterly dark
except for the moving blobs. He
could hear sounds in the hotel
corridor outside — faintly, though:
the sound of a vacuum cleaner,
and it might have been a city
block away; the tiniest whisper
of someone laughing.
He remembered one of his
drunken fantasies of the night be-
fore — little robot mice, or so
they seemed, spinning a curtain
wore a cocoon of silver, and on
the bed next to him, where Harse
slept, there was a fantastic silver
hood, like the basketwork of a
baby's bassinet, surrounding his
It was a fairyland scene and it
lasted only a second. For Harse
cried out and leaped to his feet.
Quick as an adder, he scooped up
something from the table beside
his bed and gestured with it at
the door. It was, Mooney half
perceived, the silvery, jointed
thing he had used in the truck;
and he used it again.
Pale blue light streamed out.
It faded and the chambermaid,
popping eyes and all, was gone.
T DIDN'T hurt as much the
Mooney finally attracted
Harse's attention, and Harse, with
a Masonic pass over one of the
little silvery things, set it to
loosening and removing the silver
bonds. The things were like toy
tanks with jointed legs; as they
spun the silver webs, they could
also suck them in. In moments,
the webs that held Mooney down
He got up, aching in his tired
muscles and his head, but this
time the panic that had rilled him
in the truck was gone. Well, one
victim more or less — what did it
matter? And besides, he clung to
the fact that Harse had not ex-
actly said the victims were dead.
So it didn't hurt as much the
Mooney planned. He shut the
door and sat on the edge of the
bed. "Shut up — you put us in a
lousy fix and I have to think a
way out of it," he rasped at Harse
when Harse started to speak; and
the man from the future looked
at him with opaque pale eyes,
and silently opened one of the
flat canisters and began to eat.
"All right," said Mooney at last.
"Harse, get rid of all this stuff."
"The stuff on the walls. What
your little spiders have been spin-
ning, understand? Can't you get
it off the walls?"
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
Harse leaned forward and
touched the kit. The little spider-
things that had been aimlessly
roving now began to digest what
they had created, as the ones that
had held Mooney had already
done. It was quick — Mooney
hoped it would be quick enough.
There were over a dozen of the
things, more than Mooney would
have believed the little kit could
hold; and he had seen no sign of
The silvery silk on the walls, in
aimless tracing, disappeared. The
thick silvery coat over the window
disappeared. Harse's bassinet-
hood disappeared. A construc-
tion that haloed the door disap-
peared—and as it dwindled, the
noises from the corridor grew
louder; some sort of sound-ab-
sorbing contrivance, Mooney
There was an elaborate silvery
erector-set affair on the floor be-
housekeeper — Mooney extracted
a promise from Harse and left
him. He carefully hung a "Do Not
Disturb" card from the doorknob,
crossed his fingers and took the
The fact seemed to be that
Harse didn't care about aborigi-
tween the beds; it whirled and nals. Mooney had arranged a sys-
spun silently and the little ma-
chines took it apart again and
swallowed it. Mooney had no no-
tion of its purpose. When it was
gone, he could see no change, but
Harse shuddered and shifted his
"All right," said Mooney when
everything was back in the kit.
"Now you just keep your mouth
shut. I won't ask you to lie —
they'll have enough trouble un-
derstanding you if you tell the
truth. Hear me?"
Harse merely stared, but that
was good enough. Mooney put his
hand on the phone. He took a
deep breath and aGld it Until his
head began iG fegte and his face
turned red. Then he picket u p
the phone and, when he spoke,
there was authentic rage and dis-
tress in his voice.
"Operator," he snarled, "give
me the manager. And hurry up —
I want to report a thief!"
TJTHEN the manager had gone
™ —along with the assistant
manager, the house detective and
the ancient shrew-faced head
tern of taps on the door which, he
thought, Harse would abide by, so
that Mooney could get back in.
Just the same, Mooney vowed to
be extremely careful about how
he opened that door. Whatever
the pale blue light was, Mooney
wanted no part of it directed at
The elevator operator greeted
him respectfully — a part of the
management's policy of making
amends, no doubt. Mooney re-
turned the greeting with a barely
civil nod. Sure, it had worked;
he'd told the manager that he'd
caught the chambermaid trying
to steal something valuable that
belonged to that celebrated pro-
prietor of valuable secrets, Mr.
the chambermaid had
fled; how dared tnSJ ?™ploy a
person like that?
And he had made very sure
that the manager and the house
dick and all the rest had plenty
of opportunity to snoop apolo-
getically in every closet and un-
der the beds, just so there would
be no suspicion in their minds
that a dismembered chamber-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
maid-torso was littering some
dark corner of the room. What
could they do but accept the
story? The chambermaid wasn't
there to defend herself, and
though they might wonder how T
she had got out of the hotel with-
out being noticed, it was their
problem to figure it out, not
Mooney's to explain it.
They had even been grateful
when Mooney offered hand-
somely to refrain from notifying
"Lobby, sir," sang out the ele-
vator operator, and Mooney
stepped out, nodded to the man-
ager, stared down the house de-
tective and walked out into the
So far, so good.
Now that the animal necessi-
ties of clothes and food and a
place to live were taken care of,
Mooney had a chance to opGrstG.
It was a field in which he had al-
ways had a good deal of talent —
the making of deals, the locating
of contacts, the arranging of
transactions that were better con-
ducted in private.
And he had a good deal of busi-
ness to transact. Harse had ac-
cepted without question his state-
ment that they would have to
raise more money.
"Try heroin or. Platinum?" he
had suggested, and gone back to
"I will," Mooney assured him,
and he did; he tried them both,
and more besides.
OT only was it good that he
had such valuable commodi-
ties to vend, but it was a useful
item in his total of knowledge
concerning Harse that the man
from the future seemed to have
no idea of the value of money in
the 20th Century, chez U.S. A.
Mooney found a buyer for the
drugs; and there was a few thou-
sand dollars there, which helped,
for although the quantity was not
large, the drugs were chemically
pure. He found a fence to handle
the jewels and precious metals;
and he unloaded all the ones of
moderate value — not the other
diamond, not the rubies, not the
He arranged to keep those
without mentioning it to Harse.
No point in selling them now, not
when they had sev*:*! thousand
dollars above any conceivable ex-
penses, not when some future
date would do as well, just in case
Harse should get away with the
balance of the kit.
Having concluded his business,
Mooney undertook a brief but ex-
pensive shopping tour of his own
and found a reasonably satisfac-
tory place to eat. After a pleas-
antly stimulating cocktail and the
best meal he had had in some
years — doubly good, for there
was no reek from Harse's nause-
ating concoctions to spoil it — he
called for coffee, for brandy, for
the day's papers.
The disappearance of the truck
driver made hardly a ripple.
There were a couple of stories,
but small and far in the back —
amnesia, said one; an underworld
kidnaping, suggested another; but
the story had nothing to feed on
and it would die.
Good enough, thought Mooney,
waving for another glass of that
enjoyable brandy; and then he
turned back to the front page and
saw his own face.
There was the hotel lobby of
the previous day, and a pillar of
churning black smoke that
Mooney knew was Harse, and
there in the background, mouth
agape, expression worried, was
Howard Mooney himself.
He read it all very, very care-
wen, ne thought, at least they
didn't get our names. The story
was all about the Loyal and Be-
neficent Order of Exalted Eagles,
and the only reference to the pic-
ture was a brief line about a dis-
turbance outside the meeting
hall. Nonetheless, the second glass
of brandy tasted nowhere near as
good as the first.
I ME passed. Mooney found a
man who explained what was
meant by the Vale of Cashmere.
In Brooklyn, there is a very large
park — the name is Prospect Park
— and in it is a little planted val-
ley, with a brook and a pool; and
the name of it on the maps of
Prospect Park is the Vale of
Cashmere. Mooney sent out for
a map, memorized it; and that
However, Mooney didn't really
want to go to the Vale of Cash-
mere with Harse. What he wanted
was that survival kit. Wonders
kept popping out of it, and each
day's supply made Mooney covet
the huger store that was still in-
side. There had been, he guessed,
something like a hundred sepa-
rate items that had somehow
come out of that tiny box. There
simply was no room for them all;
but that was not a matter that
Mooney concerned himself with.
They were there, possible or not,
because he had .«*»cr. th~
Mooney laid traps.
The trouble was that Harse did
not care for conversation. He
spent endless hours with his film
viewer, and when he said any-
thing at all to Mooney, it was to
complain. All he wanted was to
exist for four days — nothing else.
Mooney laid conversational
traps, tried to draw him out, and
there was no luck. Harse would
turn his blank, pale stare on him,
and refuse to be drawn.
At night, however hard Mooney
tried, Harse was always awake
past him; and in his sleep, always
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
and always, the little metal guar-
strapped Mooney tight.
Survival kit? But how did the lit-
tle metal things know that
Mooney was a threat?
It was maddening and time
was passing. There were four
days, then only three, then only
two. Mooney made arrangements
of his own.
He found two girls — lovely
Harse, made sure his fat new
pigskin wallet was in his pocket,
and took a cab to a place on
Brooklyn's waterfront where cabs
seldom go. The bartender had
arms like beer kegs and a blue
chin. . - ■
"Beer," said Mooney, and made
sure he paid for it with a twenty-
dollar bill — thumbing through a
thick wad of fifties and hundreds
girls, the best that money could to find the smallest. He retired to
buy, and he brought them to the
suite with a wink and a snigger.
"A little relaxation, eh, Harse?
The red-haired one is named Gin-
ger and she's partial to men with
■ Ginger smiled a rehearsed and
lovely smile. "I certainly am, Mr.
Harse. Say, want to dance?"
But it came to nothing, though
the house detective knocked def-
erentially on the door to ask if
they could be a little more quiet,
please. It wasn't the sound of
celebration that the neighbors
were objecting to. It was the
shrill, violent noise of Harse's
laughter. First he had seemed not
to understand, and then he looked
hs astonished as Mooney had
ever seen him. And then the
Girls didn't work. Mooney got
rid of the girls.
All right, Mooney was a man
of infinite resource and sagacity
—hadn't he proved that many a
time? He excused himself to
a booth and nursed his beer.
After about ten minutes, a man
stood beside him, blue-chinned
and muscular enough to be the
bartender's brother — which,
Mooney found, he was.
"Well," said Mooney, "it took
you long enough. Sit down. You
don't have to roll me; you can
Girls didn't work? Okay, if not
girls, then try boys . . . well, not
boys exactly. Hoodlums. Try
hoodlums and see what Harse
might do against the toughest in-
habitants of the area around the
XT ARSE, sloshing heedlessly
-*"*• through melted snow, spat-
tering Mooney, grumbled: "I do
not see why we. Must? Wander
endlessly across the face of this
Mooney said soothingly: "We
have to make sure, Harse. We
have to be sure it's the right
"Huff," said Harse, but he went
along. They were in Prospect
Park and it was nearly dark.
"Hey, look," said Mooney des-
perately, "look at those kids on
Harse glanced angrily at the
kids on sleds and even more
angrily at Mooney. Still, he
wasn't refusing to come and that
was something. It had been pos-
sible that Harse would sit tight in
the hotel room and it had taken
all of the persuasive powers
Mooney prided himself on to get
him out. But Mooney was able to
paint a horrible picture of getting
to the wrong place, missing the
Nexus Point, seventeen long years
of waiting for the next one.
They crossed the Sheep
Meadow, crossed the walk, crossed
an old covered bridge; and they
were at the head of a flight of
"The Vale of Cashmere!" cried
Mooney, as though he were an-
nouncing a miracle.
Harse said nothing.
Mooney licked his lips, glanc-
ing at the kit Harse carried
under an arm, glancing around.
No one was in sight.
Mooney coughed. "Uh. You're
sure this is the place you mean?"
"If it is the Vale of Cashmere."
Harse looked once more down
the steps, then turned.
"No, wait!" said Mooney fran-
tically. "I mean — well, where in
the Vale of Cashmere is the
Nexus Point? This is a big place!"
Harse's pale eyes stared at him
for a moment. "No. Not big."
"Oh, fairly big. After all -"
Harse said positively: "Come."
Mooney swore under his breath
and vowed never to trust anyone
again, especially a bartender's
brother; but just then it hap-
pened. Out of the snowy bushes
stepped a man in a red bandanna,
holding a gun. "This is a stickup!
Gimme that bag!"
There was no chance for Harse
now. The man was leaping to-
ward him; there would be no time
for him to open the bag, take out
the weapon ...
But he didn't have to. There
was a thin, singing, whining sound
from the bag. It leaped out of
Harse's hand, leaped free as
though it had invisible wings, and
flew at the man in the red ban-
danna. The man stumbled and
jumped aside, the eyes incredu-
lous over the mask. The silvery
flat metal kit spun round him,
whining. It circled him once, spi-
raled up. Behind it, like a smoke
trail from a destroyer, a pale blue
mist streamed backward. It sur-
rounded the man and hid him.
The bag flew back into Harse's
The violet mist thinned and,
And the man was gone, as ut-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
terly and as finally as any cham-
bermaid or driver of a truck.
In the writing room? Well,
that was an advantage. The writ-
There was a moment of silence, ing room was off the main lobby;
Mooney stared without belief at
the snow sifting down from the
bushes that the man had hid in.
Harse looked opaquely at
Mooney. "It seems," he said, "that
in these slums are many. Dan-
TVTOONEY was very quiet on
--" the way back to the hotel.
Harse, for once, was not gazing
into his viewer. He sat erect and
silent beside Mooney, glancing at
him from time to time. Mooney
did not relish the attention.
The situation had deteriorated.
It deteriorated even more when
they entered the lobby of the
hotel. The desk clerk called to
Mooney hesitated, then said to
Harse: "You go ahead. I'll be up
in a minute. And listen — don't
forget about my knock."
Harse inclined his head and
strode into the elevator. Mooney
"There's a gentleman to see
you, Mr. Mooney," the desk clerk
Mooney swallowed. "A — a gen-
tleman? To see me?"
The clerk nodded toward the
writing room. "In there, sir. A
it would give Mooney a chance to
peek in before whoever it was
could see him. He approached the
entrance cautiously . . .
"Howard!" cried an accusing
familiar voice behind him.
Mooney turned. A small man
with curly red hair was coming
out of a door marked "Men."
"Why -why, Uncle Lester!"
said Mooney. "What a p-pleasant
Lester, all of five feet tall,
wispy red hair surrounding his
red plump face, looked up at him
"No doubt!" he snapped. "IVe
been waiting all day, Howard.
Took the afternoon off from work
to come here. And I wouldn't
have been here at all if I hadn't
He was holding a copy of the
paper with Mooney's picture, be-
hind the pillar of black fog. "Your
aunt wrapped my lunch in it,
Howard. Otherwise I might have
missed it. Went right to the hotel.
You weren't there. The doorman
helped, though. Found a cab
driver. Told me where he'd taken
you. Here I am."
"That's nice," lied Mooney.
"No, it isn't. Howard, what in
gentleman who says he knows the world are you up to? Do you
you." know the Monmouth County po-
Mooney pursed his lips. lice are looking for you? Said
there was somebody missing.
Want to talk to you." The little
man shook his head angrily.
"Knew I shouldn't let you stay at
my place. Your aunt warned me,
too. Why do you make trouble
"Police?" Mooney asked faintly.
"At my age! Police coming to
the house. Who was that fella
who's missing, Howard? Where
did he go? Why doesn't he go
home? His wife's half crazy. He
shouldn't worry her like that."
MOONEY clutched his uncle's
shoulder. "Do the police
know where I am? You didn't
"Tell them? How could I tell
them? Only I saw your picture
while I was eating my sandwich,
so I went to the hotel and — "
"Uncle Lester, listen. What did
they come to see you for?"
"Because I was stupid enough
to let you stay in my house, that's
what for," Lester said bitterly.
"Two days ago. Knocking on my
door, hardly eight o'clock in the
morning. They said there's a man
missing, driving a truck, found
the truck empty. Man from the
Coast Guard station knows him,
saw him picking up a couple of
hitchhikers at a bridge someplace,
recognized one of the hitchhikers.
Said the hitchhiker'd been staying
at my house. That's you, Howard.
Don't lie; he described you.
Pudgy, kind of a squinty look in
the eyes, dressed like a bum — oh,
it was you, all right."
"Wait a minute. Nobody knows
you've come here, right? Not
"No, course not. She didn't see
the picture, so how would she
know? Would've said something
if she had. Now come on, Howard,
we've got to go to the police
The little man paused and
looked at him suspiciously. But
that was all right; Mooney began
to feel confidence flow back into
him. It wasn't all over yet, not
by a long shot.
"Uncle Lester," he said, his
voice low-pitched and persuasive,
"I have to ask you a very im-
portant question. Think before
you answer, please. This is the
question : Have you ever belonged
to any Communist organization?"
The old man blinked. After a
moment, he exploded. "Now what
are you up to, Howard? You
know I never — "
"Think, Uncle Lester! Please.
Way back when you were a boy
— anything like that?"
"Of course not!"
"You're sure? Because I'm
warning you, Uncle Lester, you're
going to have to take the strict-
est security check anybody ever
took. You've stumbled onto some-
thing important. You'll have to
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
three taps, pause,
three taps — and cautiously
pushed it open, the pale blue mist
was just disappearing. Harse was
standing angrily in the center of
the room with the jointed metal
thing thrust out ominously before
And of Uncle Lester, there was
no trace at all.
prove you can be trusted or —
well, I can't answer for the con-
sequences. You see, this involves
— " he looked around him furtive-
ly — "Schenectady Project."
"Schenec - "
"Schenectady Project." Mooney
nodded. "YouVe heard of the
atom bomb? Uncle Lester, this is
"Bigger than the at-
"Bigger. It's the molecule bomb.
There aren't seventy-five men in
the country that know what that
so-called driver in the truck was
up to, and now you're one of
Mooney nodded soberly, feel-
ing his power. The old man was
hooked, tied and delivered. He
could tell by the look in the eyes, time of night. I ought to
by the quivering of the lips. Now
was the time to slip the contract
in his hand; or, in the present
instance, to —
"I'll tell you what to do," whis-
pered Mooney. "Here's my key.
You go up to my room. Don't
knock — we don't want to attract
attention. Walk right in. You'll
see a man there and he'll explain
"Why — why, sure, Howard.
But why don't you come with
Mooney raised a hand warn-
ingly. "You might be followed.
I'll have to keep a lookout."
Five minutes later, when
Mooney tapped on the door of
TpIME passed; and then time
■*• was all gone, and it was mid-
night, nearly the Nexus Point.
In front of the hotel, a drowsy
cab-driver gave them an argu-
ment. "The Public Liberry? Lis-
ten, the Liberry ain't open this
thanks. Hop in." He folded the
five-dollar bill and put the cab
Harse said ominously : "Liberry,
Mooney? Why do you instruct
him to take us to the Liberry?"
Mooney whispered: "There's a
law against being in the Park at
night. We'll have to sneak in. The
Library's right across the street."
Harse stared, with his luminous
pale eyes. But it was true; there
was such a law, for the parks of
the city lately had become fields
of honor where rival gangs con-
tended with bottle shards and
zip guns, where a passerby was
odds-on to be mugged.
"High Command must know
this," Harse grumbled. "Must pro-
ceed, they say, to Nexus Point.
But then one finds the aboriginals
have made laws! Oh, I shall make
"Sure you will," Mooney
soothed; but in his heart, he was
prepared to bet heavily against
Because he had a new strategy.
Clearly he couldn't get the sur-
vival kit from Harse. He had
tried that and there was no luck;
his arm still tingled as the bell-
boy's had, from having seemingly
absent-mindedly taken the handle
to help Harse. But there was a
Get rid of this clown from
the future, he thought con-
tentedly; meet the Nexus Point
instead of Harse and there was
the future, ripe for the taking!
He knew where the rescuers would
would be — and, above all, he
knew how to talk. Every man has
one talent and Mooney's was
All the years wasted on ped-
dling dime-store schemes like
frozen-food plans! But this was
the big time at last, so maybe
the years of seasoning were not
wasted, after all.
"That for you, Uncle Lester,"
he muttered. Harse looked up
from his viewer angrily' and
Mooney cleared his throat. "I
said," he explained hastily, "we're
almost at the — the Nexus Point."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
SNOW was drifting down. The
cab-driver glanced at the
black, quiet library, shook his
head and pulled away, leaving
black, wet tracks in the thin
about him irritably. "You!" he
cried, waking Mooney from a
dream of possessing the next ten
years of stock-market reports.
"You! Where is this Vale of Cash-
"Right this way, Harse, right
this way," said Mooney placat-
There was a wide sort of traffic
circle — Grand Army Plaza was
the name of it — and there were
a few cars going around it. But
not many, and none of them
looked like police cars. Mooney
looked up and down the broad,
"Across here," he ordered, and
led the time traveler toward the
edge of the park. "We can't go
in the main entrance. There
might be cops."
officers. We'll just walk down
here a way and then hop over the
wall. Trust me," said Mooney,
in the voice that had put frozen-
food lockers into so many subur-
The look from those pale eyes
was anything but a look of trust,
but Harse didn't say anything.
He stared about with an expres-
sion of detached horror, like an
Alabama gentlewoman con-
demned to walk through Harlem.
"Now!" whispered Mooney ur-
And over the wall they went.
They were in a thicket of
shrubs and brush, snow-laden, the
snow sifting down into Mooney's
neck every time he touched a
branch, which was always; he
couldn't avoid it. They crossed a
path and then a road— long, curv-
ing, broad, white, empty. Down
a hill, onto another path. Mooney
paused, glancing around.
"You know where you are.
"I think so. I'm looking for
None in sight. Mooney
frowned. What the devil did the
police think they were up to?
They passed laws; why weren't
they around to enforce them?
Mooney had his landmarks well
in mind. There was the Drive,
and there was the fork he was
supposed to be looking for. It
wouldn't be hard to find the path
to the Vale. The only thing was,
it was kind of important to
Mooney's hope of future pros-
perity that he find a policeman
first. And time was running out.
He glanced at the luminous
dial of his watch — self-winding,
shockproof, non-magnetic; the
man in the hotel's jewelry shop
had assured him only yesterday
that he could depend on its time-
keeping as on the beating of his
heart. It was nearly a quarter of
"Come along, come along!"
Mooney stalled: "I — I think
we'd better go along this way. It
ought to be down there — "
He cursed himself. Why hadn't
he gone in the main entrance,
where there was sure to be a
cop? Harse would never have
known the difference. But there
was the artist in him that wanted
the thing done perfectly, and so
he had held to the pretense of
avoiding police, had skulked and
hidden. And now —
"Look!" he whispered, pointing.
Harse spat soundlessly and
turned his eyes where Mooney
Yes. Under a distant light, a
moving figure, swinging a night-
Mooney took a deep breath
and planted a hand between
Harse's shoulder blades.
"Run!" he yelled at the top of
his voice, and shoved. He sounded
so real, he almost convinced him-
self. "Well have to split up —
I'll meet you there. Now runV f
H, CLEVER Mooney! He
crouched under a snowy
tree, watching the man from the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
future speed effortlessly away . . .
in the wrong direction.
The cop was hailing him; clever
cop! All it had taken was a couple
of full-throated yells and at once
the cop had perceived that some-
one was in the park. But cleverer
than any cop was Mooney.
Men from the future. Why,
thought Mooney contentedly, no
Mrs. Meyerhauser of the suburbs
would have let me get away with
a trick like that to sell her a
freezer. There's going to be no
problem at all. I don't have to
worry about a thing. Mooney can
take care of himself!
By then, he had caught his
breath — and time was passing,
He heard a distant confused
yelling. Harse and the cop? But
it didn't matter. The only thing
that mattered was getting to the
down the steps toward the egg
and the moving figures that flitted
soundlessly around it. Harse was
not the only time traveler,
Mooney saw. Good, that might
make it all the simpler. Should
he change his plan and feign
amnesia, pass himself off as one
of their own men?
A movement made him look
over his shoulder.
Somebody was standing at the
top of the steps. "Hell's fire,"
whispered Mooney. He'd forgot-
ten all about that aboriginal law;
and here above him stood a man
in a policeman's uniform, staring
down with pale eyes.
No, not a policeman. The face
was — Harse's.
Mooney swallowed and stood
"You!" Harse's savage voice
Nexus Point at one minute past came growling. "You are to stand.
Mooney didn't need the order;
he couldn't move. No twentieth-
century cop was a match for
Harse, that was clear; Harse had
bested him, taken his uniform
away from him for camouflage —
and here he was.
Unfortunately, so was Howard
The figures below were look-
ing up, pointing and talking;
Harse from above was coming
down. Mooney could only stand,
He took a deep breath and be-
gan to trot. Slipping in the snow,
panting heavily, he went down
the path, around the little glade,
across the covered bridge.
He found the shallow steps
that led down to the Vale.
And there it was below him:
a broad space where walks joined,
and in the space a thing shaped
like a dinosaur egg, rounded and
huge. It glowed with a silvery
Confidently, Mooney started and wish — wish that he were
back in Sea Bright, living on
cookies and stale tea, wish he had
planned things with more intelli-
gence, more skill — perhaps even
with more honesty. But it was
too late for wishing.
Harse came down the steps,
paused a yard from Mooney,
scowled a withering scowl — and
He reached the bottom of the
steps and joined the others wait-
ing about the egg. They all went
The glowing silvery colors
winked and went out. The egg
flamed purple, faded, turned trans-
parent and disappeared.
Mooney stared and, yelling a
demand for payment, ran "stum-
bling down the steps to where it
had been. There was a round
thawed spot, a trampled patch —
They were gone . . .
Almost gone. Because there was
a sudden bright wash of flame
from overhead — cold silvery
flame. He looked up, dazzled.
Over him, the egg was visible as
thin smoke, hovering. A smoky,
half-transparent hand reached out
of a port. A thin, reedy voice
cried: "I promised you. Pay?"
And the silvery dispatch-case
sort of thing, the survival kit,
dropped soundlessly to the snow
When he looked up again, the
egg was gone for good.
E WAS clear back to the
hotel before he got a grip
on himself — and then he was
drunk with delight. Honest Harse!
Splendidly trustable Harse! Why,
all this time, Mooney had been
so worried, had worked so hard
— and the whole survival kit was
his, after all!
He had touched it gingerly be-
fore picking it up but it didn't
shock him; clearly the protective
devices, whatever they were, were
He sweated over it for an
hour and a half, looking for levers,
buttons, a slit that he might pry
wider with the blade of a knife.
At last he kicked it and yelled,
past endurance: "Open up, damn
It opened wide on the floor
"Oh, bless your heart!" cried
Mooney, falling to his knees to
drag out the string of wampum,
the little mechanical mice, the
viewing-machine sort of thing.
Treasures like those were beyond
price; each one might fetch a for-
tune, if only in the wondrous new
inventions he could patent if he
could discover just how they
But where were they?
Gone! The wampum was gone.
The goggles were gone. Every-
thing was gone — the little flat
canisters, the map instruments,
everything but one thing.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
There was, in a corner of the
case, a squarish, sharp-edged thing
that Mooney stared at blindly for
a long moment before he recog-
nized it. It was a part — only a
part — of the jointed construction
that Harse had used to rid him-
self of undesirables by bathing
them in blue light.
What a filthy trick! Mooney all
but sobbed to himself.
He picked up the squarish
thing bitterly. Probably it
wouldn't even work, he thought,
the world a ruin around him. It
wasn't even the whole complete
There was a grooved, saddle-
shaped affair that was clearly a
sort of trigger; it could move for-
ward or it could move back.
Mooney thought deeply for a
Then he sat up, held the thing
carefully away from him with the
pointed part toward the wall and
pressed, ever so gently pressed
forward on the saddle-shaped
The pale blue haze leaped out,
swirled around and, not finding
anything alive in its range,
dwindled and died.
HA, THOUGHT Mooney, not
everything is lost yet! Surely
a bright young man could find
some use for a weapon like this
which removed, if it did not kill,
which prevented any nastiness
about a corpse turning up, or a
messy job of disposal.
Why not see what happened
if the thumb-piece was moved
Well, why not? Mooney held
the thing away from him, hesi-
tated, and slid it back.
There was a sudden shivering
tingle in his thumb, in the gadget
he was holding, running all up
and down his arm. A violet haze,
very unlike the blue one, licked
soundlessly forth — not burning,
but destroying as surely as flame
ever destroyed; for where the haze
touched the gadget itself, the kit,
everything that had to do with
the man from the future, it seared
and shattered. The gadget fell
into white crystalline powder in
Mooney's hand and the case it-
self became a rectangular shape
traced in white powder ridges on
Oh, no! thought Mooney, even
before the haze had gone. It can't
The flame danced away like a
cloud, spreading and rising. While
Mooney stared, it faded away,
but not without leaving something
Mooney threw his taut body
backward, almost under the bed.
What he saw, he didn't believe;
what he believed filled him with
No wonder Harse had laughed
so when Mooney asked if its vic-
tims were dead. For there they
were, all of them. Like djinn out
of a jar, human figures jelled and
solidified where the cloud of violet
flame had not at all diffidently
They were alive, as big as life,
— and so
and beginning to move
many of them! Three
The truck-driver, yes, and a
man in long red flannel under-
wear who must have been the
policeman, and Uncle Lester, and
the bartender's brother, and the
chambermaid, and a man Mooney
They were there, all of them;
and they came toward him, and
oh! but they were angry!
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THOUGHT
By L. RON HUBBARD
Just send $1.00 for this exciting new book by
L. Ron Hubbard.
It will be shipped to you immediately postage
DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY
Box 242, Silver Spring, Maryland, U. S. A.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
the language of love
By ROBERT SHECKLEY
Toms was absolutely correct —
why shouldn't a lover be able
to whisper semantlcally exact
somethings into a girl's ear?
EFFERSON TOMS went
into an auto-cafe one after-
noon after classes, to drink
coffee and study. He sat down,
philosophy texts piled neatly be-
fore him, and saw a girl directing
the robot waiters. She had smoky-
gray eyes and hair the color of a
rocket exhaust. Her figure was
slight but sweetly curved and,
gazing at it, Toms felt a lump in
his throat and a sudden recollec-
tion of autumn, evening, rain and
This was how love came to Jef-
ferson Toms. Although he was
ordinarily a very reserved young
man, he complained about the ro-
bot service in order to meet her.
When they did meet, he was in-
articulate, overwhelmed by feel-
ing. Somehow, though, he man-
aged to ask her for a date.
The girl, whose name was
Doris, was strangely moved by
the stocky, black-haired young
student, for she accepted at once.
And then Jefferson Toms' trou-
He found love delightful, yet
extremely disturbing, in spite of
his advanced studies in philoso-
phy. But love was a confusing
thing even in Toms' age, when
spaceliners bridged the gaps be-
tween the worlds, disease lay
dead, war was inconceivable, and
just about anything of any impor-
tance had been solved in an ex-
Old Earth was in better shape
than ever before. Her cities were
Illustrated by GAUGHAN
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
bright with plastic and stainless
steel. Her remaining forests were
carefully tended bits of greenery
where one might picnic in perfect
safety, since all beasts and insects
had been removed to sanitary
zoos which reproduced their liv-
ing conditions with admirable
Even the climate of Earth had
been mastered. Farmers received
their quota of rain between three
and three-thirty in the morning,
people gathered at stadiums to
watch a program of sunsets, and
a tornado was produced once a
year in a special arena as part of
the World Peace Day Celebra-
But love was as confusing as
ever and Toms found this dis-
He simply could not put his
feelings into words. Such expres-
sions as "I love you," "I adore
you," "I'm crazy about you" were
overworked and inadequate. They
conveyed nothing of the depth
and fervor of his emotions. In-
deed they cheapened them, since
every stereo, every second-rate
play was filled with similar
words. People used them in cas-
ual conversation and spoke of
how much they loved pork chops,
adored sunsets, were crazy about
Every fiber of Toms' being re-
volted against this. Never, he
swore, would he speak of his love
in terms used for pork chops. But
he found, to his dismay, that he
had nothing better to say.
TIE BROUGHT the problem
-*--*■ to his philosophy professor.
"Mr. Toms," the professor said,
gesturing wearily with his glasses,
"ah — love, as it is commonly
called, is not an operational area
with us as yet. No significant
work has been done in this field,
aside from the so-called Lan-
guage of Love of the Tyanian
This was no help. Toms con-
tinued to muse on love and think
lengthily of Doris. In the long
haunted evenings on her porch,
when the shadows from the trellis
vines crossed her face, revealing
and concealing it, Toms struggled
to tell her what he felt. And since
he could not bring himself to use
the weary commonplaces of love,
he tried to express himself in ex-
"I feel about you," he would
say, "the way a star feels about
"How immense!" she would an-
swer, immensely flattered at be-
ing compared to anything so
"That's not what I meant,"
Toms amended. "The feeling I
was trying to express was more —
well, for example, when you walk,
I am reminded of—"
"Of a what?"
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"A doe in a forest glade," Toms
"It wasn't intended to be
charming. I was trying to express
the awkwardness inherent in
youth and yet — "
"But, honey," she said, "I'm not
awkward. My dancing teacher — "
"I didn't mean awkward. But
the essence of awkwardness is —
"I understand," she said.
But Toms knew she didn't.
So he was forced to give up
extravagances. Soon he found
himself unable to say anything of
any importance to Doris, for it
was not what he meant, nor even
close to it.
The girl became concerned at
the long, moody silences which
developed between them.
"Jeff," she would urge, "surely
you can say something!"
Toms shrugged his shoulders.
"Even if it isn't absolutely
what you mean."
"Please," she cried, "say any-
thing at all! I can't stand this!"
"Oh, hell -"
"Yes?" she breathed, her face
"That wasn't what I meant,"
Toms said, relapsing into his
At last he asked her to marry
him. He was willing to admit that
he "loved" her — but he refused
to expand on it. He explained
that a marriage must be founded
upon truth or it is doomed from
the start. If he cheapened and
falsified his emotions at the be-
ginning, what could the future
hold for them?
Doris found his sentiments ad-
mirable, but refused to marry
"You must tell a girl that you
love her," she declared. "You have
to tell her a hundred times a day,
Jefferson, and even then it's not
"But I do love you!" Toms pro-
tested. "I mean to say I have an
emotion corresponding to-
"Oh, stop it!"
In this predicament, Toms
thought about the Language of
Love and went to his professor's
office to ask about it.
ff W^ E ARE told," his profes-
** sor said, "that the race in-
digenous to Tyana II had a spe-
cific and unique language for the
expression of sensations of love.
To say 'I love you' was unthink-
able for Tyanians. They would
use a phrase denoting the exact
kind and class of love they felt at
that specific moment, and used
for no other purpose."
Toms nodded, and the profes-
sor continued. "Of course, devel-
oped with this Language was,
necessarily, a technique of love-
making quite incredible in its per-
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
fection. We are told that it made
all ordinary techniques seem like
the clumsy pawing of a grizzly in
heat." The professor coughed in
"It is precisely what I need!"
"Ridiculous," said the profes-
sor. "The technique might be in-
teresting, but your own is doubt-
less sufficient for most needs. And
the Language, by its very nature,
can be used with only one person.
To learn it impresses me as
"Labor for love," Toms said, "is
the most worthwhile work in the
world, since it produces a rich
harvest of feeling."
"I refuse to stand here and
listen to bad epigrams. Mr. Toms,
why all this fuss about love?"
"It is the only perfect thing in
this world," Toms answered fer-
vently. "If one must learn a spe-
cial language to appreciate it, one
can do no less. Tell me, is it far to
"A considerable distance," his
professor said, with a thin smile.
"And an unrewarding one, since
the race is extinct."
"Extinct! But why? A sudden
pestilence? An invasion?"
"It is one of the mysteries of
the Galaxy," his professor said
"Then the Language is lost!"
"Not quite. Twenty years ago,
an Earthman named George Var-
ris went to Tyana and learned
the Language of Love from the
last remnants of the race." The
professor shrugged his shoulders.
"I never considered it sufficiently
important to read his scientific
Toms looked up Varris in the
Interspatial Explorers Who's Who
and found that he was credited
with the discovery of Tyana, had
wandered around the frontier
planets for a time, but at last had
returned to deserted Tyana, to
devote his life to investigating
every aspect of its culture.
After learning this, Toms
thought long and hard. The jour-
ney to Tyana was a difficult one,
time-consuming, and expensive.
Perhaps Varris would be dead be-
fore he got there, or unwilling to
teach him the Language. Was it
worth the gamble?
"Is love worth it?" Toms asked
himself, and knew the answer.
So he sold his ultra-n, his mem-
ory recorder, his philosophy texts,
and several stocks his grand-
father had left him, and booked
passage to Cranthis IV, which
was the closest he could come to
Tyana on a scheduled spaceway.
And after all his preparations had
been made, he went to Doris.
"When I return," he said, "I
will be able to tell you exactly
how much — I mean the particu-
lar quality and class of — I mean,
Doris, when I have mastered the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
Tyanian Technique, you will be
loved as no woman has ever been
"Do you mean that?" she
asked, her eyes glowing.
"Well," Toms said, "the term
'loved' doesn't quite express it.
But I mean something very much
"I will wait for you, Jeff," she
said. "But — please don't be too
Jefferson Toms nodded, blinked
back his tears, clutched Doris in-
articulately, and hurried to the
Within the hour, he was on his
I^OUR months later, after con-
*- siderable difficulties, Toms
stood on Tyana, on the outskirts
of the capital city. Slowly he
walked down the broad, deserted
main thoroughfare. On either side
of him, noble buildings soared to
dizzy heights. Peering inside one,
Toms saw complex machinery
and gleaming switchboards. With
his pocket Ty ana-English diction-
ary, he was able to translate the
lettering above one of the build-
It read: counseling services
FOR STAGE-FOUR LOVE PROBLEMS.
Other buildings were much the
same, filled with calculating ma-
chinery, switchboards, ticker
tapes, and the like. He passed
THE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH
INTO AFFECTION DELAY, stared at
the two-hundred-story home for
THE EMOTIONALLY RETARDED, and
glanced at several others. Slowly
the awesome, dazzling truth
dawned upon him.
Here was an entire city given
over to the research and aid of
He had no time for further
speculation. In front of him was
the gigantic general love serv-
ices building. And out of its
marble hallway stepped an old
"Who the hell are you?" the
old man asked.
"I am Jefferson Toms, of Earth.
I have come here to learn the
Language of Love, Mr. Varris."
Varris raised his shaggy white
eyebrows. He was a small, wrin-
kled old man, stoop-shouldered
and shaky in the knees. But his
eyes were alert and filled with a
"Perhaps you think the Lan-
guage will make you more attrac-
tive to women," Varris said.
"Don't believe it, young man.
Knowledge has its advantages, of
course. But it has distinct draw-
backs, as the Tyanians discov-
"What drawbacks?" Toms
Varris grinned, displaying a
single yellow tooth. "You wouldn't
understand, if you don't already
know. It takes knowledge to un-
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
derstand the limitations of knowl-
"Nevertheless," Toms said, "I
want to learn the Language."
Varris stared at him thought-
fully. "But it is not a simple thing,
Toms. The Language of Love,
and its resultant technique, is
every bit as complex as brain
surgery or the practice of corpo-
ration law. It takes work, much
work, and a talent as well."
"I will do the work. And I'm
sure I have the talent."
"Most people think that," Var-
ris said, "and most of them are
mistaken. But never mind, never
mind. It's been a long time since
I've had any company. We'll see
how you get on, Toms."
Together they went into the
General Services Building, which
Varris called his home. They
went to the Main Control Room,
where the old man had put down
a sleeping bag and set up a camp
stove. There, in the shadow of the
giant calculators, Toms' lessons
ARRIS was a thorough
teacher. In the beginning, with
the aid of a portable Semantic
Differentiator, he taught Toms to
isolate the delicate apprehension
one feels in the presence of a to-
be-loved person, to detect the
subtle tensions that come into be-
ing as the potentiality of love
These sensations, Toms learned,
must never be spoken of directly,
for frankness frightens love. They
must be expressed in simile,
metaphor and hyperbole, half-
truths and white lies. With these,
one creates an atmosphere and
lays a foundation for love. And
the mind, deceived by its own
predisposition, thinks of booming
surf and raging sea, mournful
black rocks and fields of green
"Nice images," Toms said ad-
"Those were samples," Varris
told him. "Now you must learn
So Toms went to work memo-
rizing great long lists of natural
wonders, to what sensations they
were comparable, and at what
stage they appeared in the antici-
pation of love. The Language was
thorough in this regard. Every
state or object in nature for
which there was a response in
love-anticipation had been cata-
logued, classified and listed with
suitable modifying adjectives.
When he had memorized the
list, Varris drilled him in percep-
tions of love. Toms learned the
small, strange things that make
up a state of love. Some were so
ridiculous that he had to laugh.
The old man admonished him
sternly. "Love is a serious busi-
ness, Toms. You seem to find
some humor in the fact that love
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
engender, and he learned how to
locate that sensitive area, no
larger than a dime, which exists
just below the right shoulder
He learned an entirely new
system of caressing, which caused
impulses to explode — and even
implode — along the nerve paths
and to shower colored sparks be-
fore the eyes.
He was also taught the social
advantages of conspicuous desen-
He learned many things about
physical love which he had dimly
suspected, and still more things
which no one had suspected.
It was intimidating knowledge.
Toms had imagined himself to be
at least an adequate lover. Now
he found that he knew nothing,
nothing at all, and that his best
efforts had been comparable to
the play of amorous hippopotami.
"But what else could you ex-
what that attachment really is pect?" Varris asked. "Good love-
is frequently predisposed by wind
speed and direction."
"It seems foolish," Toms ad-
"There are stranger things than
that," Varris said, and mentioned
Toms shuddered. "That I can't
believe. It's preposterous. Every-
one knows — "
"If everyone knows how love
operates, why hasn't someone re-
duced it to a formula? Murky
thinking, Toms, murky thinking
is the answer, and an unwilling-
ness to accept cold facts. If you
cannot face them — "
"I can face anything," Toms
said, "if I have to. Let's con-
S THE weeks passed, Toms
learned the words which ex-
press the first quickening of in-
terest, shade by shade, until an
attachment is formed. He learned
and the three words that express
it. This brought him to the rhet-
oric of sensation, where the body
Here the Language was specific
instead of allusive, and dealt with
feelings produced by certain
words, and above all, by certain
A startling little black machine
taught Toms the thirty-eight sep-
arate and distinct sensations
making, Toms, calls for more
study, more sheer intensive labor
than any other acquired skill. Do
you still wish to learn?"
"Definitely!" Toms said. "Why,
when I'm an expert on love-mak-
ing, I'll - 1 can -"
"That is no concern of mine,"
the old man stated. "Let's return
to our lessons."
Next, Toms learned the Cycles
of Love. Love, he discovered, is
which the touch of a hand can dynamic, constantly rising and
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
falling, and doing so in definite
patterns. There were fifty-two
major patterns, three hundred
and six minor patterns, four gen-
eral exceptions, and nine specific
Toms learned them better than
his own name.
He acquired the uses of the
Tertiary Touch. And he never
forgot the day he was taught
what a bosom really was like.
"But I can't say that!" Toms
"It's true, isn't it?" Varris in-
"No! I mean — yes, I suppose
it is. But it's unflattering."
"So it seems. But examine,
Toms. Is it actually unflattering?"
Toms examined and found the
compliment that lies beneath the
insult, and so he learned another
facet of the Language of Love.
Soon he was ready for the
study of the Apparent Negations.
He discovered that for every de-
gree of love, there is a corre-
sponding degree of hate, which is
in itself a form of love. He came
to understand how valuable hate
is, how it gives substance and
body to love, and how even indif-
ference and loathing have their
place in the nature of love.
\f ARRIS gave him a ten-hour
* written examination, which
Toms passed with superla-
tive marks. He was eager to fin-
ish, but Varris noticed that a
slight tic had developed in his
student's left eye and that his
hands had a tendency to shake.
"You need a vacation," the old
man informed him.
Toms had been thinking this
himself. "You may be right," he
said, with barely concealed eager-
ness. "Suppose I go to Cythera V
for a few weeks."
Varris, who knew Cythera's
reputation, smiled cynically. "Ea-
ger to try out your new knowl-
"Well, why not? Knowledge is
to be used."
"Only after it's mastered."
"But I have mastered it!
Couldn't we call this field work?
A thesis, perhaps?"
"No thesis is necessary," Varris
"But damn it all," Toms ex-
ploded, "I should do a little ex-
perimentation! I should find out
for myself how all this works.
Especially Approach 33-CV. It
sounds fine in theory, but I've
been wondering how it works out
in actual practice. There's noth-
ing like direct experience, you
know, to reinforce — "
"Did you journey all this way
to become a super-seducer?" Var-
ris asked, with evident disgust.
"Of course not," Toms said.
"But a little experimentation
"Your knowledge of the me-
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
chanics of sensation would be
barren, unless you understand
love, as well. You have progressed
too far to be satisfied with mere
Toms, searching his heart,
knew this to be true. But he set
"It is the least human spot I've
found in this humdrum corner of
the Galaxy," Varris explained.
"And believe me, Fve done some
Toms stared at him, wondering
if the old man was out of his
his jaw stubbornly. "I'd like to mind. But soon he understood
find out that for myself, too."
"You may go," Varris said, "but
don't come back. No one will ac-
cuse me of loosing a callous sci-
entific seducer upon the Galaxy."
"Oh, all right. To hell with it.
Let's get back to work."
"No. Look at yourself! A little
more unrelieved studying, young
man, and you will lose the capac-
ity to make love. And wouldn't
that be a sorry state of affairs?"
Toms agreed that it would cer-
"I know the perfect spot," Var-
ris told him, "for relaxation from
the study of love."
HEY entered the old man's
spaceship and journeyed five
days to a small unnamed planet-
oid. When they landed, the old
man took Toms to the bank of a
swift flowing river, where the
water ran fiery red, with green
diamonds of foam. The trees that
grew on the banks of that river
were stunted and strange, and
colored vermilion. Even the grass
was unlike grass, for it was
orange and blue.
"How alien!" gasped Toms.
what Varris meant.
For months, he had been study-
ing human reactions and human
feelings, and surrounding it all
was the now suffocating feeling of
soft human flesh. He had im-
mersed himself in humanity, stud-
ied it, bathed in it, eaten and
drunk and dreamed it. It was a
relief to be here, where the water
ran red and the trees were stunted
and strange and vermilion, and
the grass was orange and blue,
and there was no reminder of
Toms and Varris separated, for
even each other's humanity was
a nuisance. Toms spent his days
wandering along the river edge,
marveling at the flowers which
moaned when he came near them.
At night, three wrinkled moons
played tag with each other, and
the morning sun was different
from the yellow sun of Earth.
At the end of a week, refreshed
and renewed, Toms and Varris re-
turned to G'cel, the Tyanian city
dedicated to the study of love.
Toms was taught the five hun-
dred and six shades of Love
Proper, from the first faint possi-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
AT THE end of the long trip,
Jefferson Toms hurried to
Doris' home. Perspiration beaded
his forehead and his hands were
shaking. He was able to classify
the feeling as Stage Two Antici-
patory Tremors, with mild maso-
chistic overtones. But that didn't
help— this was his first field work
and he was nervous. Had he mas-
He rang the bell.
She opened the door and Toms
saw that she was more beautiful
tensify them until they become than he had remembered, her
bility to the ultimate
which is so powerful that only
five men and one woman have
experienced it, and the strongest
of them survived less than an
Under the tutelage of a bank
of small, interrelated calculators,
he studied the intensification of
He learned all of the thousand
different sensations of which the
human body is capable, and how
to augment them, and how to in-
unbearable, and how to make the
unbearable bearable, and finally
eyes smoky-gray and misted with
tears, her hair the color of a
pleasurable, at which point the rocket exhaust, her figure slight
organism is not far from death.
After that, he was taught some
things which have never been put
into words and, with luck, never
"And that," Varris said one
day, "is everything."
"Yes, Toms. The heart has no
secrets from you. Nor, for that
matter, has the soul, or mind, or
the viscera. You have mastered
the Language of Love. Now re-
turn to your young lady."
"I will!" cried Toms. "At last
she will know!"
"Drop me a postcard," Varris
said. "Let me know how you're
"I'll do that," Toms promised.
but sweetly curved. He felt again
the lump in his throat and sud-
den memories of autumn, eve-
ning, rain and candlelight.
"I'm back," he croaked.
"Oh, Jeff," she said, very softly.
Toms simply stared, unable to
say a word.
"It's been so long, Jeff, and I
kept wondering if it was all worth
it. Now I know."
"You - know?"
"Yes, my darling! I waited for
you! I'd wait a hundred years, or
a thousand! I love you, Jeff!"
She was in his arms.
"Now tell me, Jeff," she said.
And Toms looked at her, and
Fervently he shook his teacher's felt, and sensed, searched his clas-
hand and departed for Earth.
sifications, selected his modifiers,
E OF I
checked and double-checked. And
after much searching, and careful
selection, and absolute certainty,
and allowing for his present state
of mind, and not forgetting to
take into account climatic condi-
tions, phases of the Moon, wind
speed and direction, Sun spots,
and other phenomena which have
their due effect upon love, he
"My dear, I am rather fond of
"Jeff! Surely you can say more
than that! The Language of
"The Language is damnably
precise," Toms said wretchedly.
"I'm sorry, but the phrase 'I am
rather fond of you' expresses pre-
cisely what I feel."
"Yes," he mumbled.
"Oh, damn you, Jeff!"
HP HERE was, of course, a pain-
-*- ful scene and a very painful
separation. Toms took to travel-
He held jobs here and there,
working as a riveter at Saturn-
Lockheed, a wiper on the Helg-
Vinosce Trader, a farmer for a
while on a kibbutz on Israel IV.
He bummed around the Inner
Dalmian System for several years,
living mostly on handouts. Then,
at Novilocessile, he met a pleas-
ant, brown-haired girl, courted
her and, in due course, married
her and set up housekeeping.
Their friends say that the
Tomses are tolerably happy, al-
though their home makes most
people uncomfortable. It is a
pleasant enough place, but the
rushing red river nearby makes
people edgy. And who can get
used to vermilion trees, and
orange-and-blue grass, and moan-
ing flowers, and three wrinkled
moons playing tag in the alien
Toms likes it, though, and Mrs.
Toms is, if nothing else, a flexible
Toms wrote a letter to his
philosophy professor on Earth,
saying that he had solved the
problem of the demise of the
Tyanian race, at least to his own
satisfaction. The trouble with
scholarly research, he wrote, is
the inhibiting effect it has upon
action. The Tyanians, he was
convinced, had been so preoccu-
pied with the science of love,
after a while they just didn't get
around to making any.
And eventually he sent a short
postcard to George Varris. He
simply said that he was married,
having succeeded in finding a girl
for whom he felt "quite a substan-
"Lucky devil," Varris growled,
after reading the card. "'Vaguely
enjoyable' was the best I could
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
::^^^U^ki : ^^i^L^
► . r* * * • * 9
F CUSTOMS and attitudes
had not changed during the
last few centuries, this is what
would happen on the day after a
ship lands on Mars:
— If the name of the ship were
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
and that of the captain Don Fran-
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
cisco de Quintana y Molino, there
would be a procession with ban-
ners of the cross around the land-
ing site, two masses would be
said, and in conclusion of the
ceremony, a cross would be
erected . . .
— If the name of the ship were
Dom Henrique and the name of
the captain Joao Dias, there
would be the erection of a cross,
a mass would be said and, in con-
clusion, a monument with a coat
of arms would be placed . . .
— If the name of the ship were
Ilya Murometz and that of the
captain Vladimir Ossipovitch
Kosmodemyanski, there would be
a religious ceremony culminating
in the ceremonial burying of cop-
per shields with a coat of arms . . .
— If the name of the ship were
Queen Elizabeth and that of the
captain Sir Cecil Hawkins, there
would be a brisk service and the
captain would perform the "turf
and sprig" ceremony, taking a
handful of soil and any small
plant in reach to take home with
him. Then the British flag would
be hoisted . . .
— And if the name of the ship
were Siegfried, commanded by
Captain Wolfgang von Greiffen-
klau, there would be an even
brisker service t Then everybody
would stand at attention while
the German flag is being hoisted.
Possibly the captain would stick
his dress saber into the ground,
or else (another tradition) pierce
his own cap with it.
I don't know what would hap-
pen if the ship were named the
Robert H. Goddard and the cap-
tain F. Warren Smith, for all the
customs mentioned had gone out
of use at the time the thirteen
states decided to be independent.
But these were the actual cus-
toms for taking possession of an
island or a coast.
Needless to say, none of these
ceremonies would carry any legal
validity nowadays and the Inter-
national Court at The Hague
wouldn't pay the slightest atten-
tion to even the most elaborate
ceremony if the participants
therein pack up and blast off for
home at a later date.
f T 1 HE law. . . . Now just a mo-
■■■ ment. There is no space law
yet, is there? The answer to that
question is a clear "no" if you
mean "legislation" when you say
"law." As Rear Admiral Chester
Ward said in a lecture on space
law during the eleventh annual
meeting of the American Rocket
Society in November, 1956: "It is
a fundamental principle of law-
making that you can't legislate
without facts. That principle ap-
plies just as well to the law of
space as it does to the law that
governs our actions here on the
surface of the earth."
Since there are no "facts" yet
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
— that is to say, no spaceships
with known performance charac-
teristics and, by implication, per-
formance restrictions — there can
be no legislation.
But just because there are no
such "facts" yet, the term "law"
may be employed to mean what
would otherwise be called a legal
principle or a legal attitude. And
that certainly exists. I have lis-
tened to about half a dozen lec-
tures on the foundations and prin-
ciples of space law during the last
half dozen years — they were not
evenly spaced, though — and
found enough agreement between
the various experts to make a
The earliest dissertation on
space law saw print in 1932. Its
title was just that: "The Law of
Space," but in German Das Welt-
raum-Recht and it was written by
a Dr. Vladimir Mandl, who was
then a practicing lawyer in Pil-
sen, Czechoslovakia. I freely ad-
mit that I hadn't looked at it
since 1932 when Dr. Mandl sent
me a copy and I have just read
it to see what he had to say then.
Well, the net yield was tiny, for
Dr. Mandl devoted most of his
small book to investigating such
legal problems as liability for ac-
cidental damage, etc., etc., and all
that with special reference to Ger-
man law. But he did say that
space outside the atmosphere
should be regarded as an area
without existing or possible sov-
ereignty, a point on which all
later legal writers fully agreed.
The idea is very simply that
open space is compared to the
open sea. That no nation has, or
can have, sovereignty over the
open sea is a legal principle that
has been firmly established for
T¥7E tend to think this is so ob-
™ vious that it need not be
mentioned, but there was a time
—best nailed down as the time in
which Columbus lived — when
countries and even cities claimed
ownership and sovereignty over
The Republic of Venice said it
owned the Adriatic Sea. The city
of Genoa countered this by own-
ing the Ligurian Sea. Portugal
claimed the Indian Ocean and
the South Atlantic as hers, while
Spain was content to own the
Pacific Ocean (and the Gulf of
Mexico). And the only reason
that the Hanseatic League never
said it owned the North Sea and
the Baltic was that England, Nor-
way and Denmark would have
put in claims for the North Sea,
too, and Denmark, Sweden and
the countries of the eastern Baltic
might have had strong opinions
about the sole proprietorship of
Crowding sometimes has useful
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
A RGUMENT that the high
■**- seas should be free for the
lawful use of all was first pre-
sented by the Dutch jurist Gro-
tius, who is universally recognized
as the "Father of International
Law." But the fact that no na-
tion, or organization of countries
like the United Nations, has sov-
ereignty over the high seas cer-
tainly does not make every ocean
a lawless place. It developed its
own law, based on practices
which navigators found either
efficient or convenient, and which
were later formulated.
The statement that the laws
which govern the sea should be
extended to apply to interplane-
tary space was voiced — for the
first time, as far as I know — by
Oscar Schachter, deputy director
of the Legal Department of the
United Nations, on the occasion
of the First Space Travel Sympo-
sium at the Hayden Planetarium
in New York City in October,
1951 —appropriately enough, on
But in order to gain the open
sea, you have to traverse coastal
waters, and in order to gain open
space, you have to traverse the
atmosphere. As regards coastal
waters, the legal situation is clear;
the problems were thrashed out
and settled a century ago. The
first three miles of ocean are con-
sidered to be under the sover-
eignty of the country which
exercises sovereignty over the
It has often been said that this
figure of three miles was accepted
because that used to be the range
of the old coastal batteries. This
sounded like a logical and con-
vincing reason. Unfortunately,
one could draw the conclusion
from it that things belong to you
for as far as you can shoot. That
kind of reasoning would lead to
declaring that "might is right"
Personally, I never quite be-
lieved that the three-mile zone
had been derived from the range
of the coastal guns, because a
three-mile range did not become
possible until many years after
the limit had been accepted. And
recently I learned that "three
miles" was just a more modern
way of expressing an older meas-
urement, namely, one marine
There is something else about
this three-mile zone which strikes
me as either odd or significant —
I don't know which. If what fol-
lows should be just a coincidence,
it is a rare one.
There is a simplified formula
which says you multiply the
square root of h by 1.17 and you
get D. The letter h stands for ele-
vation above sea level and must
be expressed in fact. The result D
must be read in nautical miles
and gives you the distance of the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
horizon at sea. If you take h to
be six feet, the result is three
miles (not nautical miles).
In other words, the three-mile
limit coincides with the actual
distance of the horizon for a man
standing at the seashore. Remem-
ber that his feet will not be at ac-
tual sea level but a few inches
above it. The refraction in the
atmosphere is included in that
conversion factor of 1.17.
HPO RETURN to the legal as-
-*• pects: most countries have
accepted the three-mile limit and
the United States recognizes no
other, although there are a few
countries which, for their own
purposes (such as prosecution of
smuggling), claim sovereignty
over a longer distance, usually
But while the countries "own"
that much of the ocean, their
ownership is not absolutely exclu-
sive. There are exceptions. If a
vessel, in order to pass from one
tract of open sea to another one,
has to navigate through sovereign
waters, it can do so — it has the
right of "innocent passage."
(Whether naval vessels, in time
of peace, have the right of inno-
cent passage is disputed, but in
time of peace, this problem is
usually circumvented by prior
When lawyers say "innocent
passage," they usually mean
freighters and passenger liners,
but it also applies to rescue mis-
sions or scientific expeditions.
Now we come to the main dif-
ficulty. It would be nice if one
could reason that, since space is
analogous to the open sea, the
atmosphere is analogous to the
three-mile zone, with the right of
innocent passage for all. If we
had had peace ever since the in-
vention of the airplane, one prob-
ably would reason that way. But
there are two complications, each
The first is the very obvious
right of self-defense, and there are
more military aircraft than pas-
senger liners and air freighters.
The second is that no figure has
so far been universally accepted
as the limit of the atmosphere.
When you ask a scientist what
seems to be a simple question,
"How deep is the atmosphere?"
he will look somewhat unhappy,
draw a deep breath, stall by light-
ing a pipe, cigar or cigarette and
say: "What characteristics do you
have in mind?" The problem is
that you still get some effects,
like the reflection of short radio
waves, several hundred miles up.
On the other hand, it seems un-
likely that you'll find noticeable
air resistance, even at speeds of
several miles per second, above
perhaps 120 miles.
About two years ago, in a dis-
cussion of this difficulty, a law
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
expert said that the legal limit
might be determined by the
height at which one can actually
fly. Unfortunately I could not
help him there. Jets and other
air-breathing engines won't be
able to go higher than, say, 70,000
But a large plastic balloon can
go to 125,000 feet and a rocket-
propelled plane still higher.
Whether these "fly" or not is
purely a question of definition. Is
"flying" just moving through a
space which still contains a little
atmosphere, or is the term re-
stricted to those altitudes where
you still obtain some aerody-
This, too, remains to be decided.
OUR next step in disentangling
the legal problem is obvi-
ously to find out what is the
"law" in the air, the air in which
we are now flying if we want to
get from one city to another in
comfort and with dispatch. Here
the situation is sad, partly be-
cause of past experiences, partly
because of old aspects.
The Romans held that the
landowner also owned the air
above it "to the sky." This idea
was perpetuated in English com-
mon law, which said (still in
Latin ) : Cujus est solum ejus est
usque ad coelum, which later was
expressed in English as: "He who
owns the soil, or surface of the
ground, owns, or has an exclusive
right to, everything which is upon
or above it to an indefinite
height." (I don't know what prac-
tical importance that had, except
when it came to the ownership of
a bird shot on the wing. )
This personal and private own-
ership of the air and the sky
above it was granted by the sov-
ereign and "could be asserted
only against other private citi-
zens; the sovereign never parted
with its paramount right to con-
trol the space above its territory."
(Quotation from Andrew G.
Haley's lecture Basic Concepts of
Space Law, presented at the An-
nual Meeting of the American
Rocket Society in Chicago in
November, 1955; published in the
society's journal Jet Propulsion,
November issue, 1956.) In short,
the attitude was the same as with
As long as there was no human
flight at all, or, at a later date*
merely an occasional balloon,
there was no legislation about the
air. Lawyers say: Minima non
curat praetor, which one may
translate as: "Minor matters do
not concern legislators." Not only
was there no legislation, there was
not even any theoretical reason-
The invention of the airplane
changed this; in fact, one man
was actually ahead of events. In
1902, at a meeting of the Insti-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
tute of International Law, an ex-
pert named Paul Fauchille sub-
mitted a draft of a proposed
convention on the regulation of
aerial navigation. According to
Haley, this draft was approved in
a modified form in 1906.
Said Haley: "The convention
would have made the air free to
commerce and travel, just as the
sea. The provision for national
security measures, while vague
and indeterminate, was a reason-
able reservation of sovereign
rights to protect against civil neg-
ligence or hostile action through
the air, but it was not intended
that any nation should usurp the
air completely. The proposal was
never implemented in an interna-
I presume that it was still a
case of minima non curat praetor
with the few airships and planes
which were around. At any event,
nobody thought of prosecuting
Bleriot when he flew the English
Channel and, so to speak, violated
English air space.
UT then the First World War
came and it was one of the
neutrals (generally a peaceful
country in recent centuries)
which had to defend vigorously
the idea of sovereignty over its
air space. This was Holland, ly-
ing as it does directly on the air
route between England and Ger-
Of course there were violations.
A couple of German zeppelin air-
ships drifted off course in foggy
weather (zeppelin ships, as a mat-
ter of principle, hid in drifting
clouds to avoid being spotted, a
method that may protect you but
does not improve your naviga-
tion) and partly disabled sea-
planes had to land in Dutch
Right after the First World
War, in October, 1919, the Paris
Convention for the Regulation of
Air Navigation was signed and
"freedom of the air" was com-
pletely ruined in the very first ar-
ticle of this convention: Les
Hautes Parties Contract antes re-
connaissent, que chaque Puissance
a la souverainete complete et ex-
clusive sur Yespace atmosphe-
rique au-dessus de son territoire;
"The High Contracting Parties
recognize that every Power has
complete and exclusive sovereign-
ty over the air space above its
Note the "complete and exclu-
sive," and, of course, this included
sovereignty over the three miles
of ocean offshore. In practice, this
complete and exclusive sovereign-
ty was somewhat limited by rules
The rules established, on the
one hand, the right of innocent
passage for non-military aircraft,
and, on the other hand, the right
to set up "prohibited zones" which
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
could not be flown over. But —
and this turned out to be the
worst feature in the long run —
these rights applied only to those
countries that signed the conven-
tion. Nations which were signato-
ries had the right to make sepa-
rate agreements with nations
which were not, but in reality
they mostly refused to make such
agreements and spent their energy
in keeping the non-signatories out.
As for the United States, its
representatives signed the' con-
vention with the provision that
American aircraft could fly over
American "prohibited zones." But
the Senate did not ratify the con-
vention, so the United States
ceased to be a signatory. How-
ever, we observed the rules just
the same and finally made a gen-
eral Western Hemisphere right-
There was a welter of addi-
tional conferences dealing with all
kinds of side issues — such as
cases of infectious disease discov-
ered on an international flight —
and then the Second World War
came. Again each nation, and
most especially the neutrals, had
to assert all their rights vigor-
TV" EAR the end of the war, an-
■*- ^ other important convention
on civil aviation took place, this
time in Chicago. It ended in De-
cember, 1944, but again the main
article read the same, almost
word for word, as the first article
of the Paris convention. Some-
thing new had been added, how-
ever: "No aircraft capable of be-
ing flown without a pilot shall be
flown without a pilot over the
territory of a contracting state
without special authorization by
that state." This was the first rec-
ognition of the existence of
The possibilities and capabili-
ties of aerial warfare being what
they are, it is both natural and
logical that every nation insist on
absolute sovereignty over its "air
space." The real trouble is that
there is no definition of what is
in the term "air space."
Since there is no natural upper
limit to the height at which "air-
craft capable of being flown with-
out a pilot" (read: missiles) can
fly, one might argue that there is no
upper limit to the "air space." In
the light of astronomical facts,
this argument is plain nonsense.
As C. Wilfried Jenks of the In-
ternational Labor Office in Ge-
neva wrote in the International
and Comparative Law Quarterly
"Any projection of territorial
sovereignty into space beyond the
atmosphere would be inconsistent
with the basic astronomical facts.
The rotation of the earth on its
own axis, its revolution around
the sun, and the motions of the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
sun and the planets through the
galaxy all require that the rela-
tionship of particular sovereign-
ties on the surface of the earth to
space beyond the atmosphere is
never constant for the smallest
conceivable fraction of time. Such
a projection into space of sover-
eignties based on particular areas
of the earth's surface would give
us a series of adjacent irregularly
shaped cones with a constantly
changing content. Celestial bodies
would move -in and out of these
cones all the time. In these cir-
cumstances, the concept of a
space cone of sovereignty is a
meaningless and dangerous ab-
Admiral Ward, in his recent
lecture, after saying in different
words what I just quoted from
Jenks, could indicate a way out:
"Professor Cooper, and other
distinguished authorities, have
pointed out that our development
of a law of outer space is not re-
stricted by our present agree-
ments affirming each nation's sov-
ereignty over the air, or the 'air
space,' above it. These agree-
ments relate strictly to the 'air
space.' They apply only as far as
the upper limits of the region in
which air is sufficiently dense to
support the flight of conventional
aircraft — that is, those aircraft
supported through reaction with
the air. We are therefore free to
develop a law of outer space, to
apply in areas above this region
of relatively dense air, without re-
striction from our existing agree-
ments relating to 'air space.' The
lawmakers wait only for the phys-
ical facts of space to be supplied
by the explorers, the scientists,
the mathematicians and the phys-
icists. With the physical facts in
hand, we can attempt to set the
upper limits of national sover-
Admiral Ward went on to state
that such an upper limit of sover-
eignty would not hamper national
defense. The three-mile limit also
does not hamper our naval opera-
tions and other defense measures
ET us say now that agree-
ments have been reached,
signed and ratified which set the
upper limit of the "air space" at
50 kilometers, which is almost
precisely 31 miles. Then we
would get the following picture:
Up to a height of 3 1 miles, each
nation has the "complete and ex-
clusive sovereignty" first accepted
in the Paris convention. Above
that, there would be a zone with
the right of innocent passage. For
scientific reasons, this zone should
not be lumped with "open space,"
because some physical phenome-
na due to a highly attenuated
atmosphere can still be observed.
Open space may then be said
to begin at a height of 250 kilo-
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
meters or 155 miles (I am put-
ting kilometers first because, by
Act of Congress, the customary-
American standard measurements
are defined in terms of metric
measurements), so that there are
three legal zones.
The bottom zone, with its com-
plete and exclusive sovereignty,
would not compare to the three-
mile zone but rather to rivers and
inland lakes. The next zone, from
50 to 250 kilometers, would be
comparable to the three-mile
zone. And space above 250 kilo-
meters would be comparable
(better: analogpus) to the high
But there is still an amusing
wrinkle— these three zones would
logically be in existence only
above land. They would not exist
for three-quarters of the Earth's
surface, for over the high seas,
the freedom of the seas would ex-
tend into space with no legal zone
in between. Or else you may say
that the freedom of space would
end where your ship gets wet
with salt water. Then you are in
the free and open seas.
Legal discussions may be inter-
esting, but how does all this ap-
ply to the coming satellite shots?
By an interesting combination of
natural facts, these satellite shots
happen to be about as "legal* as
they can possibly be.
The Vanguard rockets, the sat-
ellite carriers, will be fired from
Patrick Air Force Base in Flor-
ida. American-made, they take
off from American soil and, for a
time to be measured in seconds,
they will be in American air space
above American waters. When
they leave American air space,
they are in the free air over the
free ocean. By the time land is
below again (the southern part of
Africa), they have passed out of
any air space and are in free
Of course, they are legal in an-
other sense, too. They are part of
the International Geophysical
Year. Some sixty nations have not
only not voiced any objections,
but have promised support and
assistance in observing the satel-
lites. So that's that.
TVTOW how about that ship that
-*- ^ lands on Mars and its cap-
tain who takes possession with
or without ceremonies? In the
first place, it is possible — even
probable — that an agreement
might be reached in the mean-
time that all "land" beyond the
earth will be under the jurisdic-
tion of the United Nations, unless
inhabited by indigenous intelli-
gent and reasoning beings. (In
the latter case, naturally, they
would have sovereignty.) All
rights, including mining rights, if
any, would take the form of con-
cessions, leases or licenses from
the United Nations.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
But suppose it is not a case of
the United Nations — which really
means nations acting together in-
stead of separately — but still a
case of separate nations, gener-
ally at peace. There are some in-
teresting analogies in the past and
I'll quote Bouvet Island as an
example. It is a small island, situ-
ated several hundred nautical
miles to the SSW of the southern
tip of Africa. The island itself is
roughly circular, with a diameter
of about five miles measured east
to west and about half a mile less
measured north to south. It is es-
sentially just one large dead vol-
cano, completely covered with
Bouvet Island was discovered
land, sailed around it, and Cap-
tain Norris took possession of it
(from shipboard) for the United
Kingdom in the name of King
There followed another period
of uncertainty whether the island
existed at all, but in November,
1898, the German oceanographic
expedition with the steamer Val-
divia found it again. The Ger-
mans decided that landing would
be very difficult and would not
accomplish anything anyway, so
they did their charting and map-
ping from aboard their comfor-
table steamer. And although they
named the largest glacier they
could see the Kaiser Wilhelm
Glacier, they had no aspirations
in 1739 by the French captain as to ownership. They were
merely establishing the precise
location and size of this British
Lozier Bouvet. He thought it was
just a northern cape of a much
larger southern continent and
named it Cap de la Cit concision.
He made no legal claims. Since
the area where the island is lo-
cated is also characterized by the
worst climatic conditions possible
— frequent storms, long-lasting
fogs, drifting ice — the island was
"lost" for many years.
It was found again by the Eng-
lish captain James Lindsay in
1808. He tried to land but could
not; by sailing around it, however,
he established that it was an
island. In December, 1825, the
English ship Sprightly under Cap-
tain George Norris found the is-
OUT in December, 1927, the
**-* Norwegian vessel Norvegia
under Captain Axel Hornvedt
reached Bouvet Island. A landing
party went ashore and took for-
mal possession for Norway in the
name of King Haakon VII. Eng-
land objected, pointing to its Cap-
tain Norris. England lost the dis-
pute, for the men of the Norvegia
had actually landed.
But it cannot be denied that
Norway's title to the island, ac-
quired in 1928, is none too solid.
They did land, which was deemed
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
more important than prior dis-
covery from a distance. But they
have never exercised their sover-
eignty. And this has come to be
an important point; if somebody
else sneaked in during the antarc-
tic night and established a colony,
he might win out over Norway,
since Norway has obviously been
negligent in asserting its rights by
The history of Bouvet Island
may, in the future, become fa-
mous because of citations in legal
arguments. In the meantime, it
indicates that nobody will be able
to "own" a planet by just saying
TF MERE discovery established
-*- ownership then the naked-eye
planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars,
Jupiter and Saturn — would be
common property. They were dis-
covered by the Babylonians who
left no heirs and assigns. Our
moon would be community prop-
Otherwise, Germany and Eng-
land would fare best, with the
largest chunks of celestial real
estate: Germany could claim
Neptune and England Uranus.
But Uranus was discovered by
Herschel, who was German-born,
and though he made the discov-
ery from English soil, he may not
yet have been an English citizen
at that moment, which would pro-
duce an interesting legal problem.
The Netherlands would get Ti-
tan, Saturn's largest moon. Italy
would get the four largest moons
of Jupiter and possibly several of
the smaller moons of Saturn, de-
pending on whether their discov-
erer, Cassini, was still an Italian
or already a Frenchman when he
England, in addition to Uranus,
would get all the four large moons
of that planet, the larger moon of
Neptune and two of the minor
satellites of Saturn. The United
States would get the two moons
of Mars, a handful of the minor
moons of Jupiter, one minor moon
of Saturn, the smallest moon of
Uranus, the smaller of the two
moons of Neptune and the planet
Pluto. Of course, practically all
of us would "own" at least a few
But remember, discovery by it-
self does not count. YouVe got to
land on your asteroid — and stay
there — to make it legal.
— WILLY LEY
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
By CLIFFORD D. SIMAK
His job was just to be first in
the hearts of his countrymen . . .
if he ever managed to find them!
Illustrated by DILLON
walked home across the
moor just before the twi-
light hour and it was then, he felt,
that the land was at its best. The
sun was sinking into a crimson
froth of clouds and the first gray-
silver light began to run across
the swales. There were moments
when it seemed all eternity grew
quiet and watched with held
It had been a good day and it
would be a good homecoming,
for the others would be waiting
for him with the dinner table set
and the fireplace blazing and the
drinks set close at hand. It was a
pity, he thought, that they would
not go walking with him, al-
though, in this particular in-
stance, he was rather glad they
hadn't. Once in a while, it was a
good thing for a man to be alone.
For almost a hundred years,
aboard the ship, there had been
no chance to be alone.
But that was over now and
they could settle down, just the
six of them, to lead the kind of
life they'd planned. After only a
few short weeks, the planet was
beginning to seem like home; in
the years to come, it would be-
come in truth a home such as
Earth had never been.
Once again he felt the twinge
of recurring wonder at how
they'd ever got away with it.
That Earth should allow six of its
immortals to\slip through its
clutches seemed unbelievable.
Earth had real and urgent need
for all of its immortals, and that
not one, but six, of them should
be allowed to slip away, to live
lives of their own, was beyond
all logic. And yet that was ex-
actly what had happened.
There was something queer
about it, Winston-Kirby told him-
self. On the century-long flight
from Earth, they'd often talked
about it and wondered how it had
come about. Cranford-Adams, he
recalled, had been convinced that
it was some subtle trap, but after
a hundred years there was no evi-
dence of any trap and it had be-
gun to seem Cranford-Adams
must be wrong.
Winston-Kirby topped the gen-
tle rise that he had been climbing
and, in the gathering dusk, he saw
the manor house — exactly the
kind of house he had dreamed
about for years, precisely the kind
of house to be built in such a set-
ting — except that the robots had
built it much too large. But that,
he consoled himself, was what
one had to expect of robots. Effi-
cient, certainly, and very well in-
tentioned and obedient and nice
to have around, but sometimes
TJ E STOOD on the hilltop and
-"-■*■ gazed down upon the house.
How many times had he and his
companions, at the dinner table,
planned the kind of house they
would build? How often had they
speculated upon the accuracy of
the specifications given for this
planet they had chosen from the
Exploratory Files, fearful that it
might not be in every actuality
the way it was described?
But here, finally, it was — some-
thing out of Hardy, something
from the Baskervilles — the long
imagining come to comfortable
There was the manor house,
with the light shining from its
windows, and the dark bulk of
the outbuildings built to house
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
the livestock, which had been
brought in the ship as frozen em-
bryos and soon would be emerg-
ing from the incubators. And
there the level land that in a few
more months would be fields and
gardens, and to the north the
spaceship stood after years of rov-
ing. As he watched, the first
bright star sprang out just beyond
the spaceship's nose, and the
spaceship and the star looked for
all the world like a symbolic
He walked down the hill, with
the first night wind blowing in his
face and the ancient smell of
heather in the air, and was happy
It was sinful, he thought, to be
so joyful, but there was reason
for it. The voyage had been
happy and the planet-strike suc-
cessful and here he was, the
undisputed proprietor of an en*
tire planet upon which, in the
fullness of time, he would found
a family and a dynasty. And he
had all the time there was. There
was no need to hurry. He had
all of eternity if he needed it.
And, best of all, he had good
They would be waiting for him
when he stepped through the
door. There would be laughter
and a quick drink, then a lei-
surely dinner, and, later, brandy
before the blazing fire. And
there'd be talk — good talk, sober
and intimate and friendly.
It had been the talk, he told
himself, more than anything else,
which had gotten them sanely
through the century of space
flight. That and their mutual love
and appreciation of the finer
points of the human culture — un-
derstanding of the arts, love of
good literature, interest in philos-
ophy. It was not often that six
persons could live intimately for
a hundred years without a single
spat, without a touch of cabin
Inside the manor house, they
would be waiting for him in the
fire- and candlelight, with the
drinks all mixed and the talk al-
ready started and the room would
be warm with good fellowship
and perfect understanding.
Cranford-Adams would be sit-
ting in the big chair before the
fire, staring at the flames and
thinking, for he was the thinker
of the group. And Allyn-Burbage
would be standing, with one el-
bow on the mantel, a glass
clutched in his hand and in his
eyes the twinkle of good humor.
Cosette-Middleton would be talk-
ing with him and laughing, for
she was the gay one, with her
elfin spirit and her golden hair.
Anna-Quinze more than likely
would be reading, curled up in a
chair, and Mary-Foyle would be
simply waiting, glad to be alive,
glad to be with friends.
FOUNDING FATH ER
HTHESE, he thought, were the
*■* long companions of the trip,
so full of understanding, so toler-
ant and gracious that a century
had not dulled the beauty of their
Winston-Kirby hurried, a thing
he almost never did, at the thought
of those five who were waiting for
him, anxious to be with them, to
tell them of his walk across the
moor, to discuss with them still
again some details of their plans.
He turned into the walk. The
wind was becoming cold, as it al-
ways did with the fall of dark-
ness, and he raised the collar of
his jacket for the poor protection
He reached the door and stood
for an instant in the chill, to savor
the never-failing satisfaction of
the massive timbering and the
stout, strong squareness of the
house. A place built to stand
through the centuries, he thought,
a place of dynasty with a sense
He pressed the latch and thrust
his weight against the door and
it came slowly open. A blast of
warm air rushed out to greet him.
He stepped into the entry hall
and closed the door behind him.
As he took off his cap and jacket
and found a place to hang them,
he stamped and scuffed his feet a
little to let the others know that
he had returned.
him, no sound of happy laughter.
There was only silence from the
He turned about so swiftly that
his hand trailed across his jacket
and dislodged it from the hook.
It fell to the floor with a smooth
rustle of fabric and lay there, a
little mound of cloth.
His legs suddenly were cold
and heavy, and when he tried to
hurry, the best he could do was
shuffle, and he felt the chill edge
He reached the entrance to the
room and stopped, shocked into
immobility. His hands went out
and grasped the door jamb on
either side of him.
There was no one in the room.
And not only that — the room it-
self was different. It was not
simply the companions who were
gone. Gone, as well, were the rich
furnishings of the room, gone the
comfort and the pride.
There were no rugs upon the
floor, no hangings at the windows,
no paintings on the wall. The fire-
place was a naked thing of rough
and jagged stone. The furniture —
the little there was — was primi-
tive, barely knocked together. A
small trestle table stood before
the fireplace, with a three-legged
stool pulled up to a place that
was set for one.
Winston-Kirby tried to call. The
first time, the words gurgled in
But there were no greetings for his throat and he could not get
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
them out. He tried again and
made it: "Job! Job, where are
Job came running from some-
where in the house. "What's the
"Where are the others? Where
have they gone? They should be
waiting for me."
Job shook his head, just slight-
ly, a quick move right and left.
"Mister Kirby, sir, they were never
"Never here! But they were
here when I left this morning.
They knew I'd be coming back."
"You fail to understand, sir.
There were never any others.
There were just you and I and
the other robots. And the embryos,
WflNSTON-KIRBY let go of
* * the door and walked a few
"Job," he said, "you're joking."
But he knew something was wrong
— robots never joke.
"We let you keep them as long
as we could," said Job. "We hated
to have to take them from you,
sir. But we needed the equipment
for the incubators."
"But this room! The rugs, the
furniture, the — "
"That was all part of it, sir.
Part qf the dimensino."
Winston-Kirby walked slowly
across the room, used one foot to
hook the three-legged stool out
from the table. He sat down
"The dimensino?" he asked.
"Surely you remember."
He frowned to indicate he
didn't. But it was coming back
to him, some of it, slowly and re-
luctantly, emerging vaguely after
all the years of forgetfulness.
He fought against the remem-
bering and the knowledge. He
tried to push it back into that
dark corner of his mind from
which it came. It was sacrilege
and treason — it was madness.
"The human embryos," Job told
him, "came through very well. Of
the thousand of them, all but three
Winston-Kirby shook his head,
as if to clear away the mist that
befogged his brain.
"We have the incubators all
set up in the outbuildings, sir,"
said Job. "We waited as long as
we could before we took the di-
mensino equipment. We let you
have it until the very last. It
might have been easier, sir, if we
could have done it gradually, but
there is no provision for that. You
either have dimensino or you
haven't got it."
"Of course," said Winston-Kirby,
mumbling just a little. "It was
considerate of you. I thank you
He stood up unsteadily and
rubbed his hand across his eyes.
"It's not possible," he said. "It
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
simply can't be possible. I lived
for a hundred years with them.
They were as real as I am. They
were flesh and blood, I tell you.
They were . . ."
The room still was bare and
empty, a mocking emptiness, an
"It is possible," said Job gently.
"It is just the way it should be.
Everything has gone according to
the book. You are here, still sane,
thanks to the dimensino. The em-
bryos came through better than
expected. The equipment is intact.
In eight months or so, the children
will be coming from the incuba-
tors. By that time, we will have
gardens and a crop on the way.
The livestock embryos will also
have emerged and the colony will
be largely self-sustaining."
Winston-Kirby strode to the
table, picked up the plate that
was laid at the single place. It
was lightweight plastic.
"Tell me," he said. "Have we
any china? Have we any glass*
ware or silver?"
OB looked as near to startled
as a robot ever could. "Of
course not, sir. We had no room
for* more than just the bare essen-
tials this trip. The china and the
silver and all the rest of it will
have to wait until much later."
"And I have been eating ship
was so little room and so much
we had to take . . *
Winston-Kirby stood with the
plate in his hand, tapping it gently
on the table, remembering those
other dinners — aboard the ship
and since the ship had landed —
the steaming soup in its satiny
tureen, the pink and juicy prime
ribs, the huge potatoes baked to
a mealy turn, the crisp green let-
tuce, the shine of polished silver,
the soft sheen of good china,
"Job," he said.
"It was all delusion, then?"
"I am afraid it was. I am sorry,
"And you robots?"
"All of us are fine, sir. It was
different with us. We can face
"And humans can't?"
"Sometimes it is better if they
can be protected from it."
"But not now?"
"Not any more," said Job. "It
must be faced now, sir."
Winston-Kirby laid the plate
down on the table and turned
back to the robot. "I think I'll go
up to my room and change to
other clothes. I presume dinner
will be ready soon. Ship rations,
"A special treat tonight," Job
told him. "Hezekiah found some
lichens and I've made a pot of
"Naturally," said Job. "There soup."
"Splendid!" Winston-Kirby said,
trying not to gag.
He climbed the stairs to the
door at the head of the stairs.
As he was about to go into the
room, another robot came tramp-
ing down the hall.
"Good evening, sir," it said.
"And who are you?"
"I'm Solomon, said the robot.
"I'm fixing up the nurseries."
"Soundproofing them, I hope."
"Oh, nothing like that. We
haven't the material or time."
"Well, carry on," said Winston-
Kirby, and went into the room.
It was not his room at all. It
was small and plain. There was a
bunk instead of the great four-
poster he had been sleeping in
and there were no rugs, no full-
length mirror, no easy chairs.
Delusion, he had said, not really
But here there was no delusion.
HP HE room was cold with a
•*- dread reality — a reality, he
knew, that had been long de-
layed. In the loneliness of this
tiny room, 'he came face to face
with it and felt the sick sense of
loss. It was a reckoning that had
been extended into the future as
far as it might be — and extended
not alone "as a matter of mercy,
of mere consideration, but because
of a cold, hard necessity, a prac-
tical concession to human vulner-
For no man, no matter how
well adjusted, no matter if im-
mortal, could survive intact, in
mind and body, a trip such as he
had made. To survive a century
under space conditions, there must
be delusion and companionship to
provide security and purpose from
day to day. And that companion-
ship must be more than human.
For mere human companionship,
however ideal, would give rise to
countless irritations, would breed
deadly cabin fever.
Dimensino companionship was
the answer, then, providing an il-
lusion of companionship flexible
to every mood and need of the
human subject. Providing, as well,
a background to that companion-
ship — a wish-fulfillment way of
life that nailed down security such
as humans under normal circum-
stances never could have known.
He sat down on the bunk and
began to unlace his heavy walk-
The practical human race, he
thought — practical to the point of
fooling itself to reach destination,
practical to the point of fabri-
cating the dimensino equipment
to specifications which could be
utilized, upon arrival, in the in-
But willing to gamble when
there was a need to gamble. Ready
to bet that a man could survive
a century in space if he were suffi-
ciently insulated against reality —
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
insulated by seeming flesh and
blood which, in sober fact, existed
only by the courtesy of the human
mind assisted by intricate elec-
For no ship before had ever
gone so far on a colonizing mis-
sion. No man had ever existed
for even half as long under the
influence of dimensino.
But there were few planets
where Man might plant a colony
under natural conditions, without
extensive and expensive installa-
tions and precautions. The nearer
of these planets had been colo-
nized and the survey had shown
that this one which he finally had
reached was especially attractive.
So Earth and Man had bet.
Especially one man, Winston-
Kirby told himself with pride,
but the pride was bitter in his
mouth. The odds, he recalled, had
been five to three against him.
And yet, even in his bitterness,
he recognized the significance of
what he had done. It was another
breakthrough, another triumph for
the busy little brain that was
hammering at the door of all
It meant that the Galaxy was
open, that Earth could remain the
center of an expanding empire,
that dimensino and immortal
could travel to the very edge of
space, that the seed of Man would
be scattered wide and far, travel-
ing as frozen embryos through the
cold, black distances which hurt
the mind to think of.
E WENT to the small chest
of drawers and found a
change of clothing, laid it on the
bunk and began to take off his
Everything was going accord-
ing to the book, Job had said.
The house was bigger than he
had wanted it, but the robots had
been right — a big building would
be needed to house a thousand
babies. The incubators were set
up and the nurseries were being
readied and another far Earth
colony was getting under way.
And colonies were important,
he remembered, reaching back
into that day, a hundred years
before, when he and many others
had laid their plans — including
the plan whereby he could delude
himself and thus preserve his san-
ity. For with more and more of the
immortal mutations occurring, the
day was not too distant when
the human race would require all
the room that it could grab.
And it was the mutant immor-
tals who were the key persons in
the colonizing programs — going
out as founding fathers to super-
vise the beginning of each colony,
staying on as long as needed, to
act as a sort of elder statesman
until that day when the colony
could stand on its own feet.
There would be busy years
FOUNDING FATH ER
ahead, he knew, serving as father,
proctor, judge, sage and admini-
strator, a sort of glorified Old
Man of a brand-new tribe.
He pulled on his trousers,
scuffed his feet into his shoes, rose
to tuck in his shirt tail. And he
turned, by force of habit, to the
And the glass was there!
He stood astounded, gaping
foolishly at the image of himself.
And behind him, in the glass, he
saw the great four-poster and the
He swung around and the bed
and chairs were gone. There were
just the bunk and the chest of
drawers in the small, mean room.
Slowly he sat down on the edge
of the bunk, clasping his hands
so they wouldn't shake.
It wasn't true! It couldn't be!
The dimensino was gone.
And yet it was with him still,
lurking in his brain, just around
the corner if he would only try.
He tried and it was easy. The
room changed as he remembered
it— with the full-length mirror and
the massive bed upon which he
sat, the thick rugs, the gleaming
liquor cabinet and the tasteful
He tried to make it go away,
barely remembering back in some
deep, black closet of his mind
that he must make it go.
But it wouldn't go away.
He tried and tried again, and it
still was there, and he felt the will
to make it go slipping from his
"No!" he cried in terror, and
the terror did it.
He sat in the small, bare room.
He found that he was breathing
hard, as if he'd climbed a high,
steep hill. His hands were fists
and his teeth were clenched and
he felt the sweat trickling down
T T WOULD be easy, he thought,
-*• so easy and so pleasant to slip
back to the old security, to the
warm, deep friendship, to the lack
of pressing purpose.
But he must not do it, for here
was a job to do. Distasteful as it
seemed now, as cold, as barren,
it still was something he must do.
For it was more than just one
more colony. It was the break-
through, the sure and certain
knowledge, the proved knowledge,
that Man no longer was chained
by time or distance.
And yet there was this danger
to be recognized; it was not some-
thing on which one might shut
one's mind. It must be reported in
every clinical detail so that, back
on Earth, it might be studied and
the inherent menace somehow
remedied or removed.
Side effect, he wondered, or
simply a matter of learning? For
the dimensino was no more than
an aid to the human mind — an
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
aid to a very curious end, the pro-
duction of controlled hallucina-
tions operating on the wish-ful-
After a hundred years, perhaps,
the human mind had learned the
technique well, so well that there
was no longer need of the di-
It was something he should have
realized, he insisted to himself. He
had gone on long walks and, dur-
ing all those hours alone, the de-
lusion had not faded. It had taken
the sudden shock of silence and
emptiness, where he had expected
laughter and warm greeting, to
penetrate the haze of delusion in
which he'd walked for years. And
even now it lurked, a conditioned
him, should he slip back into the
Although, he thought, it would
be so fine to walk out of the
room and down the stairs and find
the others waiting for him, with
the drinks all ready and the talk
well started . . .
"Cut it out!" he screamed.
Wipe- it from his mind — that
was what he must do. He must
not even think of it. ' He must
work so hard that he would have
no time to think, become so tired
from work that he'd fall into bed
and go to sleep at once and have
no chance to dream.
E RAN through his mind all
that must be done — the
state of mind, to ambush him at watching of the incubators, pre-
every hidden thicket.
How long would it be before
the ability would start to wear
away? What might be done to
wipe it out entirely? How does
one unlearn a thing he's spent a
century in learning? Exactly how
dangerous was it — was there
necessity of a conscious thought,
an absolute command or could a
man slip into it simply as an in-
voluntary retreat from drear
He must warn the robots. He
must talk it over with them. Some
sort of emergency measure must
be set up to protect him against
the wish or urge, some manner of
drastic action be devised to rescue
paring the ground for gardens and
for crops, servicing the atomic
generators, getting in timbers
against the need of building,
exploring and mapping and sur-
veying the adjacent territory,
overhauling the ship for the one-
robot return flight to Earth.
He filled his mind with it. He
tagged items for further thought
and action. He planned the days
and months and years ahead. And
at last he was satisfied.
He had it under control.
He tied his shoes and finished
buttoning his shirt. Then, with a
resolute tread, he opened the door
and walked out on the landing.
A hum of talk floating up the
stairway stopped him in his tracks.
Fear washed over him. Then
the fear evaporated. Gladness
burst within him and he took a
quick step forward.
At the top of the stairs, he halted
and reached out a hand to grasp
Alarm bells were ringing in his
brain and the gladness fell away.
There was nothing left but sor-
row, a terrible, awful grieving.
He could see one corner of the
room below and he could see that
it was carpeted. He could see the
drapes and paintings and one or-
nate golden chair.
With a moan, he turned and
fled to his room. He slammed the
door and stood with his back
The room was the way it should
be, bare and plain and cold.
Thank God, he thought. Thank
A shout came up the stairway.
"Winston, what's wrong with
you? Winston, hurry up!"
And another voice: "Winston,
we're celebrating. We have a suck-
And still another voice: "With
an apple in its mouth."
He didn't answer.
They'll go away, he thought.
They have to go away.
And even as he thought it, half
of him — more than half — longed
in sudden agony to open up the
door and go down the stairs and
know once again the old security
and the ancient friendship.
He found that he had both his
hands behind his back and that
they were clutching the doorknob
as if they were frozen there.
He heard steps on the stairway,
the sound of many happy, friend-
ly voices, coming up to get him.
— CLIFFORD D. SIMAK
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GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
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we do promise that, a year's subscription to
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...P. O. ZONE
By JOE GIBSON
Illustrated by DICK FRANCIS
MOST people can find
something wrong with
the world, and some
make a practice of it, but few peo-
ple ever get the chance to do
something about it— and those
few usually go down in history
with a resounding crash.
Well, it's been rather noisy
From the very beginning, it
had been my intention to write
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
Warning: never let anyone point any weapon
at you; even something as harmless-looking
as a water pistol --it may be a Cooling gun!
■ ."„;<■■.. -'.,.;. 3?
this account. But I certainly
hadn't intended to write it while
residing under police surveillance
in the Recuperating Ward of St.
Luke's Memorial Hospital. Nor
did I expect the interest and en-
couragement of the police officer
who put me here. Nonetheless,
Sgt. Nicolas Falasca of the Ohio
State Police has been most help-
ful both in the many long discus-
sions we have had and in procur-
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
ing the notes and data from my
laboratory for the preparation of
But I'm afraid there shall be a
considerable lot of me in this
manuscript — which, I hastily as-
sert, is not its purpose at all. My
apologies for that. Fact is, there's
a considerable lot of me, as any-
one can see. The term I rather
prefer using is roly-poly.
For the record, however, I am
duly Certified-at-Birth as one Al-
may be argued that this is no
more than I should have expected,
however, since the invention
which "followed naturally" can
only be called one thing.
I have invented a new weapon.
That's right — a Cooling gun.
But let it be said that because
I was once a war scientist, my
inventiveness must therefore tend
toward weapons and I should be
strongly tempted to reach for the
nearest one available. The term
bert Jamieson Cooling, to which war scientist has been used so
has been added, by my own mod-
est efforts, a few odd alphabetic
symbols such as M.S. and Ph.D.
I am currently holding down a
professorship at a small, privately
endowed Tech college, have some
mentionable background in both
nuclear physics and biochemistry,
possess a choice collection of
rather good jazz records, have a
particular fondness for barbecued
spareribs — and, of late, have be-
come an inventor.
If I've left something out, such
as horn-rimmed glasses, then, by
the point of my little black beard,
it must be the wardrobe of 36
sport jackets. Wives? Well, I've
been tempted, but a professor's
salary can't support alimony.
Y DISCOVERY of the Cool-
ing Effect itself came quite
by accident. But twice now, that
accident has almost killed me. It
much, and has grown so common-
place, that it has become univer-
sally accepted as the label for
anyone who spent as little as six
weeks in the old AEC. I was in
it for six years, and I voluntarily
The official policies and inter-
agency politics of that era seem
of little consequence now, when
we have three permanent space
satellites circling the Earth and
one of them is Russian. We're no
longer in a weapons race; both
sides have reached the Ultimate
Weapon in that contest. Nobody's
hiding or betraying classified se-
crets any more. There's all that
silicon-rich basalt waiting to be
cheaply processed out on the
Moon, if we can only get there . . .
Back in '69, the official news
releases were still boasting how
much bigger was each new toy we
rolled out of the workshop, how
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
much more terrible destruction it
would wreak than the last one.
That was hogwash dished out by
our PR boys (and, on the other
side, by the Reds' Propaganda
Ministry) simply because people
didn't know any better. Actually,
our toys that made the biggest
bang were the worst flops as
You don't conquer an enemy
by exterminating him. A hundred
million corpses are no problem —
just use bulldozers and they're
out of the way. But a hundred
million living, breathing, freezing,
starving, filthy and ragged human
beings can raise one hell of an
uproar. And they usually do.
Some of us felt that we wouldn't
need to knock off even a third of
Russia's major cities. Much less,
Dr. Charles Whitney made the
mistake of saying so. And they
canned him. The scuttlebutt was
that Doc's conscience backfired. I
know better; I saw the explosion.
It was his patience, not his con-
Anyway, I turned in my resig-
nation two weeks later. I walked
out, kept my mouth shut and set-
tled down to a small college pro-
fessorship. I mention these events
now simply because I believe it
was there that the development
of the Cooling gun actually
T HAD begun to see what devas-
•*- tating weapons could never
achieve. They had deterred war-
fare, at least up to that August of
1969, by their threat of utter de-
struction—and perhaps Whitney
deserved to get canned — but they
offered no guarantee for the fu-
ture. And they couldn't liberate a
conquered nation or protect peo-
ple from a dictator's secret police.
It was time we had something
better. (We did, of course, but
only a small part of the AEC was
in on the development of atomic
rockets.) Until we did, I could
sense that we were simply going
through the motions.
But it all began to go places
fast with that cold research we
were dabbling in, last semester. In
fact, it was my fault that General
Atomics tossed that little prob-
lem into our Cold Lab here at
Webster Tech — my own past
service in the AEC, my rather
unusual background combining
nuclear physics and biochemistry,
and the post-grad crew I've man-
aged to accumulate under my
The whole deal was shoveled
obligingly into my Christmas
stocking and the rest of the fac-
ulty obligingly left me to play
with it — providing I continued to
conduct my regular classes, of
Perhaps it's just as well I kept
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
my hand in, though, because that
line of research got rapidly no-
where. We found that materials
which have their temperatures re-
duced to near-absolute zero are
just plain cold. Bring them into
room temperature and strange
things happen sometimes that
isn't just them trying to warm up.
It isn't friction-loss and it isn't
radiation damage and it isn't en-
There's a band of radiant
energy somewhere between ultra-
sonics and radiant heat that hits
fast and goes deep, and comes out
just as fast, and it gets triggered
off by whatever this is that hap-
pens with near-absolute zero ob-
jects subjected to room tempera-
ture. But the whole thing is so
negligible that for most practical
purposes it can be ignored.
Finding that out cost General
Atomics thirty thousand dollars,
but our kids in the Cold Lab had
a ball rigging the Mad Scientist's
super-disintegrator gizmo that re-
produced the phenomenon.
Then, that night — it's nearly
four months ago now — I was
alone in the lab, just switched off
the lights, about to close up and
go home. And I stumbled over the
corner of the thing. Scrambling
up, somehow I put my foot into
it. And reaching out to grasp its
frame, to steady myself, my hand
hit the switch. It went on and I
It was still on — I thought —
when I regained consciousness,
spraddled out on the concrete
floor. I pulled the switch open
and jerked the cord out of the
YfTHEN I got home, there
™ wasn't a bruise or a bump on
my noggin. Nor the faintest sign
of a burn anywhere on my foot
or leg or even on the sole of my
That was a Tuesday night.
The next day, the lab remained
closed. But that night, I went in,
switched the lights on and studied
the machine. It showed absolutely
no sign of damage, no burned in-
sulation, nothing. I stuck my
hand into it and closed the switch.
It came on with its usual quiet
hum. Nothing happened.
It was almost a week before I
heard that the janitor was still
wondering who'd blown all the
campus fuses on Tuesday night.
Then I remembered that I hadn't
switched the lights back on when
I regained consciousness. •
I had been blinded when I
switched them off, had stumbled
over the machine, fallen, all the
rest of it. But I'd come to with
night vision, naturally. I saw well
enough then by the moonlight
streaming in the lab windows. All
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
the lights — the machine, too —
could have been off, with the
fuses blown, without my noticing
it. I had assumed the machine
It works on a simple "A" bat-
tery. But there's a transistor
hookup that behaves like no tran-
sistor. Its molecular structure vi-
was on because its switch was brates, which it shouldn't, and
closed, had opened the switch and
jerked out the cord plug.
What happened had therefore
required a tremendous spurt of
juice in the circuits, or else a heck
of a lot less juice than we carry
in our lab outlets. So I took home
the prints on the rig and began
making changes. Which led to
more changes. Which resulted in
some rather complicated mathe-
matics to which we scientific
chaps resort when the kind we
teach in colleges just won't work
power-input. And I got more.
The thing is a sort of invisible
ray. It can only be emitted, or
broadcast, as a narrow beam from
the muzzle-coils of a very fancy-
looking electronic rig. Low power
is a must; more juice not only
heats up the rig and smokes insu-
lation, but it won't shoot the
I tested it on the black tulips
(Biochemical Research Project
187) which I got to close up by
the clock, not by the Sun, last
year (Project 187-A) and their
blossoms closed each time the
beam touched them. The purple
mushrooms which fluff their tops
in radioactivity showed no effects.
emits a sharp, keening note in the
vicinity of E flat. A rather bulky
muffler would be required, I'm
afraid, to get rid of that noise.
But the oddest thing, techni-
cally, is that invisible ray-beam.
It hasn't any of the effects of elec-
tric shock. I'll not go into the
electro-neurological aspects of
that — nobody could understand
it except, just possibly, a neurolo-
gist—but the simple fact is that
this ray puts a victim to sleep in-
stantly and it doesn't do anything
out right. I got it: a very low else!
No blockages or convulsions of
nerve ganglia, not even a tempo-
rary catharsis of "mild" shock!
Apparently it gallops up the
"white matter" of the nervous
system quite harmlessly, then
smacks the "gray matter"— the
brain, the spinal column — a good
In short, the victim just flops
over and snores up a half-hour or
so, and then awakens as if from
a short nap, though perhaps with
some puzzlement. There is no in-
TVT ATURALLY, I wanted to find
-*-^ out how the Cooling Effect
worked and why — though I may
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
never learn what it is. Hypnosis?
Artificially induced, instantane-
ous sleep? (Victims can be han-
dled without awakening.) Of
course, I was curious. I'd have
gone through it step by step for
my own satisfaction, even if
somebody else had already done
Nobody had — and it wasn't
easy. During the rest of the term,
even through final exams, I de-
voted every spare moment to the
Cooling Effect. Even so, it took
another two months' hot sweat —
the summer vacation's practically
gone now — to get those final dia-
grams onto my drawing board.
But once I did, there it was, at
least its basic circuits and com-
ponents. All I needed was to jug-
gle them around, coax them into
a slim, tubular case, put a carved
butt on it containing the "A" bat-
tery and give it a push-button
trigger. With that data, any good
bench-hand in an electrical repair
shop could have done the job. I
fashioned it out of plastic and
odds and ends in my basement
A glance in the telephone Red
Book gave me the number of a
local breeding farm and a call
yond that, lower in the valley, the
alfalfa field begins. With a brisk
pacing off of a base-line and some
rough, splay-thumbed triangula-
tion, I soon determined my new
weapon's effectiveness from point-
blank range to a thousand yards
— on guinea pigs, that is.
At nine hundred yards, it still
knocked them over for the count.
At a thousand yards, it had no
effect whatever, so far as I could
determine through field glasses.
The animals gave no sign that
they even noticed it. That, plus
the nature of the mechanism, in-
dicates its application is definitely
limited. Whether you make it
small enough to fit a lady's purse
or as big as an atomic cannon, its
maximum effective range will still
remain 900 yards. And not just
on guinea pigs.
I already knew from my own
experience what it does to a man
at close range. Blowing the fuses
on the whole campus had been
the real danger there, however.
Had it been the slightest bit dif-
ferent, even to the position of my
foot in that big machine, I should
certainly have been electrocuted
That was the first time it al-
soon brought a pair of fat, inquisi- most killed me.
tive guinea pigs in a small, wire-
screened carrying cage. Beyond
the patio wall, my house sides di-
rectly on open pasturage, and be-
nPHE Cooling Effect is worth-
■*- less as an anesthetic for sur-
gery. While the sleeping guinea
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
pigs don't awaken when I pick
them up out of their cage and
handle them, even pulling their
legs, they do struggle. They re-
sist, like sleeping animals, not
wanting to be disturbed. Still, I
pinched them and bounced them
and they invariably slept through
an approximate half-hour. It's
shock, and it isn't. It's sleep, and
But I certainly knew it was a
weapon. A new weapon. And man
alive, what a weapon!
I turned the guinea pigs loose
in the patio, let them scamper,
then tumbled them both with a
quick sweep of the beam.
NE man in ambush could
knock over a whole company
of marching troops!
The guns could be mounted on
tripods with a rotating mecha-
nism that kept them sweeping the
area constantly. Anyone who ap-
proached within 900 yards would
go down — then wake up, climb
back to their feet, and go down
again every half-hour. Man or
animal. The guns could be strung
out to cover a whole sector, then
wired to a single main switch —
and one lone observer could stop
an infantry advance.
But they wouldn't stop guided
missiles or even mortar fire. Nor
would they deflect through peep-
holes on a tank or pillbox. There
isn't quite that much "scatter"
from the beam reflecting off a
hard surface. However, there is
some — I fired through the wire-
screen openings of the cage and
had the beam glance directly off
the back wall, often knocking the
guinea pigs down without hitting
them directly. It went through a
handkerchief easily, even when
folded thick. A thin glass tumbler,
however, stopped it.
You could take cover from it al-
most anywhere — if you knew
when you were going to be shot at.
You could wear a a light plastic
armor — if the joints were sealed
and you kept it hooked to about
a fifty-pound air-condition unit.
No problem at all if you ride a
It wouldn't stop an invading
army, but it could certainly raise
the devil with the occupation. Al-
most anyone could make the gun.
Given the components of a pocket
radio, a few pieces of copper wire,
a few sticks of chewing gum and
a penknife, I could whittle one
out of wood or put it into a plas-
tic toy water-pistol.
But what the Armed Forces
don't want right now is a new se-
cret weapon! They have their
manned satellite now, keeping its
vigil over the arsenals of Earth,
their big atomic missiles ready to
jump off against preset targets —
but with the frightful unknown of
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
deep space chilling their back-
And, too, I can imagine trying
to sell those Generals on some-
thing that won't even stop a tank.
I'm afraid I forgot to shut off
the kitchen monitor that night.
The servos dished out the dinner
menu I'd dialed before noon, then
whisked it away when it got cold.
I noticed it when the waste proc-
essor's stuttering hum went on a
bit longer than usual.
REALIZED all too clearly
what a predicament I was in.
The Armed Forces would un-
doubtedly suppress my invention.
Their lives are nightmarish
enough already — not knowing
what they'll find out in space or
how it will affect matters. What's
more, they would suppress me!
There are certain retroactive
clauses in that contract I signed
with the AEC which would do
the job with complete legality. A
nice little hideaway, then, with
nothing for miles but security
guards, radar traps, trip-wires and
But that was the kindest fate I
could expect. Quite a number of
assorted big and small dictators
might like my head blown off.
The most obvious alternative
was to suppress the invention my-
self. To destroy all traces of my
experiments and forget about it.
To convince myself the world
wasn't ready for it. t
It's quite possible I might have
— if I hadn't kept forgetting to
shut off things — and if not for an
unsavory little group.
There is small chance that Big
Jake Claggett and his three hench-
men will ever be remembered for
their unwitting contribution to
science and the future of man-
kind. In fact, their contribution
can be accepted as the merest co-
incidence — unless you discount
Big Jake's liking for foreign
sports cars. But that came later.
We always have had criminals
and crime, and it just happened
that Claggett's gang were the big
news that day. It could as easily
have been some other bunch of
Anyway, when nine p.m. rolled
around, my wall TV burst into
its customary serenade of sound
and color, timed for just enough
of the opening commercial to let
me settle down to watch Mr.
Winkle's news commentary. It
was August 23rd, 1979. At two
o'clock that afternoon, Big Jake
Claggett and his gang robbed the
Belief ontaine County Savings
Bank and got away with $23,000.
One of the gang clubbed the
elderly bank guard senseless with
the barrel of his revolver. The
guard was hospitalized for a pos-
sible skull fracture. Witnesses
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
said Big Jake cursed the gunman
who struck the guard, warning
him to "get hold of himself!"
That was enough for me. The
world had to be given my new
weapon. (I'm even more con-
vinced of it now, after discussing
it with Sgt. Falasca. Practically
every professional criminal in this
country would give almost any-
thing for the Cooling gun. Then
they could commit armed rob-
bery with no risk of earning a
murder rap!) I could see that
both criminals and police officers
would welcome it and for one
It doesn't kill, maim or injure.
Even if it should cause a tremen-
dous increase in robberies and
similar crimes, its victims wouldn't
be dead. Better a hundred rob-
beries than one man's death.
Besides, I had a notion that I
could discourage its criminal use.
I^IRST I had to prevent its
-*• suppression. Solve that prob-
lem and there wouldn't be any
reason I couldn't manufacture the
pistols, advertise them, and sell
them exactly as any firearms
company can sell .22 rifles. Ex-
cept that I should probably do
better to arrange for their manu-
facture by some established firm.
That was when I began plan-
ning to write this. There is just
one condition under which no se-
cret can be suppressed — when it
ceases to be a secret!
It took preparation. The
roughed-out diagrams and scrib-
bled notes a man uses in research
are hardly suitable for publica-
tion. Technical specifications had
to be phrased in clear, under-
standable terms. The complete
data took nearly two weeks to
reach final draft. Also, it seemed
best to establish the importance,
and at least imply the probable
consequences, of this publication.
And then, obviously, I had to
find a publisher.
That one had me stumped.
Furthermore, I suspect it might
still have me stumped if I did not
now have the full support of the
Governor and the State Police of
Ohio. These police officers want
Cooling guns! But even back then,
while I was still the only man on
Earth who knew about it, I man-
aged to formulate a solution of
Any publisher would be scared
of the thing while only he and I
and the printers knew about it.
He'd be risking a Federal injunc-
tion, at the very least, even to
consider publishing it.
But if it were no longer a se-
cret and simply not yet common
knowledge, most publishers would
grab it. If, for example, some
manufacturing firm had already
considered it and was planning
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
to put Cooling guns into produc-
ft • •
Dr. Charles Whitney is cur-
rently the president and chief
stockholder of the Cleveland
Atomic Equipment Company,
which designs and manufactures
special tools and equipment for
nuclear power companies, radia-
tion labs and universities through-
out the Midwest. He started the
business after his dismissal from
the AEC and built it up gradually
over the ensuing ten years. We
have some of his tools at Webster
Then, too, Whitney and I had
maintained a cursory, but friendly
contact through the years, so
naturally I thought of him first.
He had the production layout for
the job; what's more, he had the
guts to go through with it. All I
had to do was sell him on it.
Unfortunately, by then I was
scared silly. I was the furtive,
sneaky little man whose inven-
tion would change the world. I
contacted Dr. Whitney with a
simple televisor call — but instead
of suggesting a perfectly normal
appointment at his office, I had to
swear him to secrecy and arrange
a clandestine meeting in the
country! I wonder he didn't con-
sult an almanac to see if there
wasn't a full moon that night.
In fact, I wonder that he came
at all. It was pouring rain.
A T LEAST six hours are still
-^*- required to reach Indian
Lake in dry weather, even allow-
ing the Federal Freeway's 125
mph speed limit. Once through
the Columbus Turnoff, you have
to double back westward and
northward through a hilly, rural
country with twisting county
roads. You must have excellent
driving ability to average more
than 30 mph — and it won't be
much more — over that maze of
roads. When they're wet, you
need driving ability just to stay
I'd worked late the night be-
fore, arranging my material for
this meeting, and didn't arise un-
til noon. One glance at the sky's
heavy overcast told me what to
expect. The weather reports con-
The world proceeded about its
own business, of course, thor-
oughly indifferent to a worried
man eating his belated breakfast.
I was so completely alone! If I
felt any sense of foreboding,
stuffing articles into my pockets,
picking up the guinea pigs' case
and going out to the car, I
couldn't distinguish it from my
feeling of gloom. Perhaps I did,
since the world's affairs caught
up with me quite forcibly that
I met the rain before I was
halfway up the Freeway and had
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
to cut speed clear down to 85.
The old hotel on Indian Lake
was my natural choice for a ren-
dezvous, since it was a gutted
ruin in abandoned backwoods —
though "abandoned" isn't exactly
true. Local residents still fish the
lake and there are a few homes
around the shore area.
Strictly speaking, the region
has simply changed with the
times. Today, you can't get past
the toll-gate onto a Federal Free-
way unless you have a Federal
Driver's License and your Vehicle
Inspection sticker is up to date —
which changed more things, I
think, than nuclear power and
HEN people suddenly
couldn't drive across the
country in any junkheap with a
nut at the wheel, it became a
mark of distinction just to live in
the country. That's what made
more rural jobs — the small com-
munity shopping centers spring-
ing up, products having to be
shipped out to them, the growth
of rural power and water systems
— when work in the cities got
scarce, with automation taking
over the factories.
But it hit the small resort areas
especially hard. More people are
vacationing in the cities now than
at the seashore or mountains!
I hadn't been out to the lake in
years, but I had less trouble find-
ing my way this time than ever
before. The influx of new home-
builders has considerably
improved the road signs around
there, both in number and accu-
racy, and that's all you need in a
Porsche Apache. My little blue
speedster takes those narrow,
rain-slicked county roads like a
Skid Row bum making the saloon
circuit with a brand new ten-
dollar bill. The only real problem
is getting around those armor-
sided Detroit mastodons that
can't decide which end is the
Anyway, driving kept me too
busy to think much of anything
else. But I made good time — bet-
ter than I expected — and it
wasn't long after dark when my
headlights cut through the sheet-
ing rain to pick out the fire-black-
ened ruin of the hotel.
I jounced the little Porsche
around the deep-rutted drive and
parked next to the empty frame
building that had once been the
restaurant and bar.
I had plenty of time to think,
for Dr. Whitney didn't arrive un-
til two hours later.
It was sometime during those
two hours that the Claggett gang
smashed their way through a po-
lice roadblock just outside Lima,
their guns blasting reply to the
machine-gun bullets peppering
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
their big sedan. Two policemen
were seriously wounded; one died
on the way to the hospital.
Shortly afterward, the bullet-
riddled sedan was found by the
roadside, but only one of the gang
was in it. He was dead.
And some time later, a call
aroused Sgt. Falasca from a
sound sleep. He didn't even take
time to don his State Police uni-
form, but merely pulled a trench-
coat on over his pajamas, got his
revolver out of the bureau
drawer, and kissed his wife on the
way out the front door. He had
three other State Troopers to pick
up, off-duty as he was, before
proceeding to the assembly point
The Claggett gang had split up,
some of them probably wounded,
each of them armed and more
dangerous than ever. They were
wanted for murder now.
T\R. WHITNEY made the trip
-"-^ by helicopter, of course — the
head of a scientific instrument
company must keep up appear-
ances. He'd waited as long as he
could, hoping the weather might
clear, then had taken off on in-
struments and reached the lake
by ADF gridmap. He settled to
the lake surface and crept in to
shore, his landing lights probing
the thick curtains of rain.
I heard the hollow roar of his
his rotor blades, and hurried
around the slanting wing of the
old hotel to meet him. The lake-
front presented a macabre view
that wrenched at my memory.
The desolate, cracked-stucco walls
with the black holes of their win-
dows rising from mounds of rub-
ble beside me, a weed-grown lawn
and a straggle of trees half-mask-
ing the lake — stark-looking trees
now, in the 'copter's landing lights
— and a small boat-dock leaning
half into the black water.
Once, as a rather obnoxious
young high-school student, I had
seen this lakefront on just such a
night. A steady rain fell, lightning
flickered, and thunder blasted its
anger . . . and, for a moment, I
saw it as it had been, with that
grand old British pioneer of space
flight, Arthur C. Clarke, standing
out there in the pelting rain with
his camera, taking pictures of the
Dr. Whitney brought his sleek
craft over the treetops and settled
neatly into the small space that
remained of the lawn, his rotor
tips almost nicking the crumbled
walls of the hotel. It was a plexi-
nosed, three-place executive ship
— a Bell, I think. A lot of people
prefer flying. They must fly specif-
ic air routes and airfield traffic
patterns; and with airfields so
crowded, they have trouble find-
ing a place to park. It's not for
turbine, rather than the throb of me.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
But Dr. Whitney had heard
the newscasts on the way out. I
don't recall what was said at our
meeting. It was rather uncomfort-
able, under the circumstances —
the more so for me, I think, as
those circumstances were my own
making. But when we'd rounded
the hotel and entered the old res-
taurant-bar, I recall Whitney's
"Well, we're cozy enough here,"
he said. "So long as the Claggett
gang doesn't drop in on us!"
That was how I heard of the
night's happenings. When he saw
that his remark puzzled me, he
related the news while I was set-
ting things up for our conference.
We were in the back room, which
had once been the bar — the front
section, formerly the restaurant,
had had windows all around,
which now formed an unbroken
gap with a chill wind whistling
through it. The place was stripped
bare of its former fixtures, but
some unsung fisherman had pro-
vided the old barroom with a
rickety table and several pressed-
board boxes to sit on. I had a
Coleman radiant heat lantern
which I swung from a ceiling wire
hook, a plastic sheet which I
threw across the table, and a cou-
ple of patio chair cushions for the
It took some shifting about to
get everything out of the way of
several roof leaks, and I had to
choose a sturdy box for myself,
first testing a few.
T CAN well imagine the thoughts
-■- and emotions struggling
through Dr. Whitney's mind then,
but he showed none of them. It
was I, rather, with my clumsy
movements, the pauses to polish
my glasses, the lump I kept try-
ing to swallow, who took so long
to face up to it.
But finally we were ready. I
took out my notebook and opened
it upon the table before me.
Whitney's frosty eyebrows raised.
Then he quietly reached inside
his own topcoat, produced his
notebook and pen, and laid the
notebook open before him. It was
a gesture of an almost-forgotten
past, but a habit neither of us
had ever abandoned. Something
about it — the reminder of count-
less AEC conferences we had
both attended — had a steadying
effect on me.
I placed my pistol in the center
of the table. The guinea pigs' cage
was on the floor before us. I told
what I had to tell.
Then I went to the cage, re-
moved one of the animals and
tucked it into my pocket. Return-
ing to the table, I picked up the
pistol and fired at the cage. The
shrill E flat note pierced the rush-
ing sound of the rain.
Whitney rose and went to the
cage. Gently removing the little
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
creature, he felt it a moment, then
"Asleep," he said, and replaced
it in the cage.
Looking over my notes, I see
that considerable space would be
required to cover the entire inter-
rogation which followed. Also, I
see that I failed to note down the
almost gradual change in my old
friend's demeanor — from his calm,
quiet manner at first to the keen-
eyed excitement of his flushed
features, his rapid-fire questions
at the end.
I shall, instead, give some ex-
amples of that discussion.
"The guinea pigs sleep for only
a half-hour? Always a half-hour?"
"Yes. It never varies much. A
minute or so each way."
"If you — uh — shoot one, then
shoot it again, does that prolong
its sleep any?"
"Not at all! Still only a half-
hour, no matter how many times
you shoot them while they sleep."
"Ummm. That could indicate
sleep is the brain's defense mech-
anism against the effects of your
ray. A successful defense, it would
seem. They show no after-effects
"None whatever. They've be-
gun to associate it with the pistol,
though. Each time I point the pis-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
tol at them, they get mad -
"You mean angry? They aren't
afraid of it?"
"Certainly not afraid! One in
my pocket here tries burrowing
into corners, making furious grunt-
ing sounds. The other one usually
just stands and glares at me."
"How about when they wake
"Well, generally, their first re-
action is to keep a sharp eye out
for me — and the pistol."
"Wary, eh? Damned inconven-
ient, I suppose, getting knocked
asleep all the time. But it cer-
tainly doesn't seem to hurt them.
What about mental disturbance?"
"No obvious aberrations. But I
don't know -
"Yes, they're only guinea pigs.
Hardly be satisfactory to the
American Medical Association,
among others. Take years of re-
search to determine its absolute
"But it should be released to
the public now!"
"Because its harmful effects, if
any, are very likely to be insignifi-
cant—or we'd have no doubts
about their existence."
"That assumption could be dan-
But there's something
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
else, too. This new weapon will
replace firearms — which certainly
do inflict injury, even death."
"Ah, society's application of
it — " And Dr. Whitney took sev-
eral minutes to digest that aspect.
I outlined my plans to him.
TTE WAS incredulous at first,
■■"■• then frankly aghast. "You
expect me to mass-produce that
I said I hoped he would.
He then commenced raking me
over the coals in a most fitting
and proper manner. Didn't I real-
ize what I had created? My vi-
sions of it freeing peoples from
police-state enslavement were all
fine and good, and it might con-
ceivably have such result; but
what I had here was nothing more
than the most fiendish instrument
ever inflicted upon human society!
What did I think it might do in
the hands of muggers, sex offend-
ers, pickpockets, burglars or
worse? Why, our whole civilized
culture would be thrown into
chaos! No person would dare ever
be alone, for fear of ambush. No
one could sleep without someone
else standing watch! No man
could defend his own possessions,
no woman could keep her chas-
tity, unless people were around
them, watching them every mo-
ment of their lives!
Goods could no longer be trans-
wealthy— who could afford it —
would have to live in massive,
well-guarded fortresses. The rest
of us would be like the feudal
serf, with nothing worth stealing
and quite accustomed to having
his daughters raped. We'd be
thrown back into the Dark Ages!
I nodded agreement to every-
thing he said.
Then I took the guinea pig
from my pocket, held it squirm-
ing, and fastened a little collar
about its neck. I unwound a wire
from the plastic disc on the collar
so Dr. Whitney could see it. He
instantly recognized the tiny node
on the wire as a miniature micro-
"Remember how you deter-
mined that the other pig was
asleep?" I asked. I taped the tiny
node to the artery on the pig's
neck, carried it over to the cage,
and placed it inside. "I call this
my 'Hey, Rube!'" I explained,
grinning. "But imagine it as a lit-
tle wrist radio transmitter, worn
by everyone who requests them,
tuned to the police broadcast fre-
quency. Radio DF could pinpoint
the location in seconds."
Going back to the table, I
picked up the pistol. "This one's
just for demonstration," I added,
and fired at the cage.
As the guinea pig slumped be-
side its companion, the disc on its
collar emitted a harsh, buzzing
ported without heavy guard. The noise
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTIO
Whitney chuckled. "Slowed
heartbeat, eh? Simple as that!"
"And better than any burglar
alarm," I pointed out. "This one
needn't sit still while some crook
E POINTED out, of course,
that this might destroy its
usefulness to people in a police-
state. The dictator's police and
troops could wear "Hey, Rube!"
radios, too. I replied that all the
people's underground fighters
would need is a Cooling pistol
and a saw-edged meat knife. One
man could knock over a whole
platoon and cut their heel-ten-
dons in minutes. "The American
Indians used to collect scalps in
less time!" I said. "But a wounded
man's more trouble to the enemy
than a dead one. I think the heel-
tendon would be easiest."
Perhaps it was a bit out of
character for me. Whitney looked
at me for a long moment, and
blinked. Both eyes, tight.
But still he didn't think much
of my plans.
His subsequent suggestions
were far more rational, however,
than the ones I had evolved
First, we didn't really know the
Armed Forces would suppress
this gun. They were completely
involved in their problems of
space flight and military satel-
lites; there probably wasn't any-
one left in Washington who was
even looking for secret weapons
now. And we just might get this
gun through while they weren't
He suggested, therefore, that I
attempt to patent my invention.
But that we should take adequate
safeguards : I must handle all pat-
ent correspondence through his
office. Then, if the Armed Forces
clamped down, they'd come there
first — and he could tip me off in
time to escape. I'd have to flee
the country. But at least I'd be
free and we could adopt other
measures for bringing out the
It would be pointless now to
disclose what other plans and ar-
rangements we made. It's enough
to say I agreed. The discussion
then turned to further speculation
of what the future might be with
the Cooling gun.
Whitney was not at all con-
vinced it would be good, but,
rather, that neither we nor any
group of men had the right to de-
cide what humanity should or
should not do.
He had strong doubts that it
would mean the end of dictator-
ship. "Dictators dream world con-
quest, and dreams like that breed
war," he said. "But they aren't the
only ones to blame. You'll find
people who like dictatorships!"
But the truth was that most of
humanity didn't want to get in-
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
volved, never realizing that that
involved them more than any-
thing else could.
It was at approximately this
time, so far as I can determine,
that Big Jake Claggett and one of
his henchmen walked up to a
service station where a Porsche
speedster was getting gas. They
clubbed the station attendant un-
conscious, hauled the driver out
of the little sports car and took
off in it.
Dr. Whitney left me with a
problem. What could be done to
keep people alert? It is this one
thing that will determine the
Cooling gun's effect on the world
— whether as an instrument of
crime or protection for the weak,
Where people are complacent,
it will be a boon to thieves and
Where people are alert —
But what could keep us alert?
RIVING back, I was preoc-
cupied, hardly conscious of
the little car's deft progress over
the slick roads. It was almost with
a feeling of detached interest that
I saw the black skid-marks at the
bottom of the hill — then, with
chill shock, the dark bulk of the
sedan on its side in the ditch.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
I was slowing when a flashlight
beam raked outward from the
car, showing crumpled metal and
broken headlights. One figure,
perhaps two, were standing be-
hind it. Another one, a man in a
trenchcoat, mud-splattered almost
to his hips, was walking onto the
road in front of me, flagging me
"Get out of that car!"
speed of the sedan, as evidenced
by its skid-marks. My mind
leaped instantly to one nerve-shat-
tering conclusion —
And I felt absolutely calm. I
can't explain that. It may have
been that the night's events had
already drained me of tense emo-
They're armed, I thought, but
so am I! And I have a weapon
There were exasperation and that can get them all with one
rage in his voice, an expression of
utter fury on his face. He stood
just at the edge of my headlights'
glare, not directly in it, with his
hands thrust deep in his pockets.
There was that. There was the
This, while I opened the door
and climbed out. While I thrust
my hand into my own pocket.
I whipped out the little pistol.
One instant, he was standing
A TOUCH OF E FLAT
still, hands thrust in the wet
trenchcoat. The next, a heavy re-
volver exploded at his hip. A
sledgehammer caught me in the
right side, knocked me reeling.
It occurred to me then, lying
there on the road, cold rain pelt-
ing my face, a warm wetness
spreading along my side. I had
met the one pitfall we shall never
escape in a pistol-packing society :
the man who's faster with a gun
than you are!
Bending over me, Sgt. Nicolas
Falasca picked up the little plas-
tic Cooling gun and straightened
up, peering at it, scowling. "What
the hell!" he muttered.
I was rather inclined to agree.
TVTATURALLY, this had to be
-L ^ told. The State of Ohio wants
Cooling guns for its police officers;
after this, other States will un-
doubtedly follow suit. The Armed
Forces don't want to suppress it.
And Dr. Whitney will start pro-
duction in just another week.
They've been very decent about
paying my hospital bills and see-
ing that nothing else happens to
Even though Sgt. Falasca was
saddled with the latter responsi-
bility, I must repeat that he's
treated me very well. The future
will depend a lot on men like him.
As for the rest — I've been as-
sured that the guinea pigs were
honorably retired to the breeding
farm; Nurse wouldn't let me keep
them here. Everyone knows of
the violent end of the Claggett
I want to state vigorously at
this point that, despite wide-
spread public belief, neither I nor
the Cooling gun had anything
whatsoever to do with it. I never
at any time even saw Claggett or
any member of his gang. Their
unwitting contribution was the
alerting of Sgt. Falasca and the
rest of the police, and, as I men-
tioned at the beginning of this
account, Claggett's stealing a
Porsche like mine because he was
fond of sports cars.
That's the whole of the story,
except for one additional item:
This is scheduled to appear at
the same time as the plans and
specifications for the Cooling gun.
You'll find them given as premi-
ums with safety razors, breakfast
cereals, cigarettes and other ar-
ticles. I wish to thank the manu-
facturers for their kind coopera-
X-l=The choice from Galaxy, adapted by the tops at N. B. C
Each Wednesday nite on Radio. 1
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
By RAYMOND E. BANKS
Planning to have an adaptokid?
Check into it thoroughly first
—no home is complete with one!
ustrated by FINLAY
Ojn n. morning,
into the factory and he
was there, our newest em-
ployee — James Warwick, the
two-brained, four-armed adapto-
There was an ominous silence
in the factory control room. Usu-
ally there's plenty of noise— ban-
ter, horseplay, gossip, sometimes
even a little work — but today the
boys were silent, heads hunched
defiantly over control panels.
Miss Berkland, the office sweet-
heart, was the only one who
seemed undisturbed as she fed
her bank of automatic dictation-
to-typing machines. Even Dr.
Kirby, the plant physician, was
glaring at the adaptoman through
the glass wall of his partitioned
The atmosphere bothered me.
That's my job.
You have to understand that
the people who run an automated
factory are a small, select group,
more like a family than a busi-
ness. Even the yardmen are much
closer than in the older factories.
There are only fifteen of us up-
stairs in the office and a mere
eighty-two in the yard. With this
group of less than a hundred
workers, we turn out an amazing
number of assemblies that go into
spaceships. SRA, Space Rocket
Assembly. Thafs our name, and
we're the principal industry of
this small town of Worthington,
I studied the adaptoman and
his setup. He had an odd desk,
what they call an adaptodesk,
with an additional working sur-
face built out and around the con-
He looked quite human as he
worked — because he was human,
of course. Only, while his upper
arms shuffled through orders on
the outer desk, his lower arms
calmly typed a report on a type-
writer in front of him. His head
was normal in appearance, except
that it was large, almost — I hesi-
tate to use the word — magnifi-
cent. It had to be. He had two
And the third eye. I could see
his shirt open at the collar and
the third eye nested between his
The rest of him was normal. In
fact, the half-hidden third eye
and the second brain, really a
sub-brain, were fairly well con-
cealed. It was only the extra pair
of arms that made him obviously
He worked with poise and con-
centration, paying no attention to
the strained atmosphere in the
I slipped into my office —
All hell broke loose.
CORTLAND, head of the Au-
tomated Engineers, and
Simms, head of the Office Tech-
nicians, stormed in.
"All right, Bob," said Cortland.
"You're Employment. You do the
hiring and firing. Get him out of
"It's all a surprise to me," I
leveled with them. "I didn't even
know he was coming."
"A monster that does the work
of two men," said the stoop-shoul-
dered Simms. "The boys want to
know what next!"
"An adaptoman may go in San
Francisco or Los Angeles," added
Cortland. "But this is Worthing-
ton, Bob. A small town. We don't
want any adaptomen around
"Thanks for the lecture," I said
drily. "As spokesmen for your
unions, you're making this an offi-
"It damn well is," said Cort.
"On what grounds?" I asked.
"He, uh, he's doing an extra
man out of a job."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"Now hold on! As far as I can
see, he's only doing one job —
Production Scheduler, no more,
no less. We lost a man yesterday.
We hired one today."
"Sure — today," said Simms.
"And what has Management got
up its sleeve for the future?"
"Like I told you-
Cortland leaned over my desk,
his face red. "No, let me tell you
something, Mr. Hunter. Adapto-
man goes out of here in twenty-
four hours or else they'll carry
him out. Remember that!"
Simms nodded energetic ap-
proval and the two of them strode
out. My buzzer rang. The Chief
wanted to see me. I wanted to see
him, too, because I knew he was
leaving town that morning for an
extended trip. But before I could
hit the button, Perch, the Yard
Master, lumbered in.
"Look, Bob," he said. "Some-
body told the yard crew that
there was an adaptoman up here.
Now the people in skilled labor
have taken a lot of pushing
around since automation and
they don't like the idea. They see
adaptomen used in spaceships.
Now they see them coming into
the office. Next it'll be the yard.
Can't you get that laboratory
nightmare out of here before trou-
"I didn't even know he was on
the premises until ten min — "
"This is a small town, Bob. It
ain't in the cards. Get the word up
front fast. I won't be responsible
Perch laboriously waddled out
of the office. I knew he had only
told me informally what his yard-
men would be telling me at bor-
ing length in a very short while.
I sighed and turned to the now
dead buzzer for the Chief. Then
Dr. Kirby came in.
Kirby is a special figure in
Worthington. He's the Plant Doc-
tor. In the afternoon, he has a
private practice. He's also on the
Board of Education, the Red
Cross and the City Council. He
almost never speaks for himself.
He speaks for the town.
"Something new has been
added," he said wryly.
"Yes," I said.
"Won't get a medical clear-
ance. Man can't work for SRA
without a medical clearance. And
I won't give it."
E SAID glibly: "Adaptomen
might carry contagious dis-
eases. A bug they never worked
out when they invented the con-
ception gun. Can't have him on
the premises. Half the staff will
be sick all the time. Might even
start an epidemic to spread over
That's a myth, of course. And
Kirby, a good doctor, knew it. He
also knew that he couldn't drive
the adaptoman out as easily with
his political and social influence
as with his medical influence.
Kirby heads the Medical Associ-
ation. If he said our adaptoman
was a health menace, the Associ-
ation said it.
I sighed. 'Til take it up with
the Chief. But look, Frank, Fve
always been curious about adap-
tomen. In fact, Marion and I were
even thinking . . . maybe . . . our
Kirby is red-headed and has a
flat face with a big, wide grin.
Not too humorous. He grinned
and shook his head. "It isn't prac-
tical, Bob. Adaptomen are just a
fad. They were needed to get
space travel going. Ships had to
be small, pilots and crewmen
highly efficient. A man with two
sets of arms, an extra eye and
an extra brain can manipulate
more dials, fix more wiring, think
faster, stay awake longer. But
that was pioneer stuff, like the
early spaceships. Adaptomen are
just as useless today. Within five
years, they'll be extinct. As far as
Worthington goes, we don't even
want to bother with 'em."
He peered out of the glass at
the adaptoman, whose desk-sign
gave his name as James Warwick.
"Can you imagine your daugh-
ter in the arms of that four-armed
"I don't have a daughter," I
said. I was getting a little peeved.
I hated to see our small town act
like a small town.
He tapped me on the shoulder.
"You always were too forward-
thinking, Bob. You don't belong
in Worthington. You belong in a
"I wanted to belong to space,"
I snapped. "I wanted to go out
there. I've often wished I were
"Well, you're not. Don't go out
on a limb for them. It's going to
be no sale."
And Kirby left me.
I climbed the stairs to the In-
ner Sanctum, but found only old
Miss Peabody, the Chiefs secre-
"Mr. Eakins had to leave, Mr.
Hunter. He had hoped to talk to
you for a few minutes, but he is
going east for his meeting. He
left this message."
She handed me a piece of
paper. The chief had scribbled a
hasty note on it :
"Have hired an adaptoman,
James Warwick, for Decker's job.
He's your baby. See that all goes
Then: "P.S. In the interests of
progress, Space Rocket Assembly
Board of Directors has decided to
place adaptomen in all factories
as a test. Our quota is one. I think
he'd better work out. As our In-
dustrial-Public Relations Exec,
you've got to carry the ball. Don't
drop it. Eakins."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
That was like old Eakins. He
hated small towns; he hated
Worthington. He spent as much
time away as possible. He had
made political enemies at the De-
troit home plant of SRA and was
merely passing his exile time at
our small branch plant until
things grew easier. It was typical
for him to sidestep.
T WENT back down the stairs
* slowly. I'd done a lot of
thinking about adaptomen. I had
wanted to go out in space — the
space travel that adaptomen pio-
neered. I hadn't been able to.
Now Marion and I had seriously
discussed whether our next child
shouldn't be adapto. This was go-
ing to be a good way to collect
"Jimmy," I said to the adapto-
man, "we've got problems."
"I know it, Mr. Hunter."
He was blond with green eyes
flecked with brown. When I
learned that he was only seven-
teen years old, I doubly cursed
old Eakins. A kid! And you could
tell from his small build and his
fair complexion that he was no
rough-and-tumbler. The least they
could have done —
"First, the Engineers' Group,"
"Could I - could I talk to them,
"Sure," I said gloomily. "We'll
both talk to them. I'm not afraid
of their threats of personal vio-
He squirmed in his chair.
"—but the yardmen are some-
thing else again," I finished.
"It seems to me the yardmen
don't count in this. I'm an office
worker, not a yard worker."
"Let's face it," I said. "The
more sophisticated people, like
Cortland and his engineers and
Simms and his office technicians,
are not so afraid of the unknown,
which you represent. But the
yardmen aren't that sophisticated.
They wouldn't mind punching
you on the nose."
"Do me a personal favor, Mr.
Hunter. Let me handle them in
my own way.
"He's already spoken to me,"
said Jimmy, dropping his eyes as
if the interview had been painful.
"Well, those are the hurdles," I
said. "Not to mention the towns-
people. So far, adaptomen are
something you find only in outer
space — and the Sunday supple-
ments. Where are you staying?"
The poor lad scratched his
head. "Well, nowhere yet. Mr.
Eakins didn't have any ideas. I've
got my suitcase in my car out on
the lot. I just arrived this morn-
ing and Mr. Eakins brought me
right here with my adapt odesk
and told me you'd take over."
"Ye gods! Well, you can stay at
my house for a few days until we
I didn't complete the sentence.
/PORTLAND and Simms pro-
^ tested loudly and at length.
It was all words. Jimmy turned
pale at Cortland's vehemence, but
pointed out in a small, deter-
mined voice that (1) he was hu-
man, born of human parents, (2)
a citizen entitled to work for his
living, and (3) didn't Cortland
and the rest believe in free enter-
prise and the four freedoms?
At that point, I thought Cort
was coming over the desk at
Jimmy. I made a signal for
Jimmy to duck out and let me
handle the situation, but he
walked straight into the lion's
"Besides," he said, "you've
wired the scheduling control
oanel all wrong. Your pre-ampli-
fiers are underrated for the job
they're doing and some of your
servo-motors have too much back-
lash. The least I can do is
straighten your system out for
That was a beautiful non sequi-
tur. It left Cortland with his
mouth hanging open. He was al-
ways fiddling with the circuits of
the massive controller and was
very proud of his work.
He drew himself up with pre-
cisely the look of a woman whose
honor has been questioned, de-
manding to know where the hell
Jimmy got his information on
ratings and circuits for control-
After that, the conference was
over for me. It degenerated into
a hot theoretical argument about
gating and damping and time con-
stants. Simms, whose people are
almost as engineering-minded as
the engineers, stayed with it and
they called in a couple of boys
and presently the argument
moved over to the main office
and the controller itself.
That shot the afternoon.
I'm afraid there wasn't much
work done, but at the end of the
day, Cortland came in grinning.
"Well, so much for your lousy
superman," he jeered. "We backed
him to the wall. He was wrong all
the way. That stupid kid has a lot
I was about to point out that
he couldn't learn if he was run
out of the office, when Simms
peered in and asked Cortland:
"Which of the circuit textbooks
did you want me to requisition
for Jimmy tomorrow?"
Cortland reeled off a long list
of books. His eyes were shining.
He was the missionary out to con-
vert the heathen.
"That crazy Adaptoman Insti-
tute," he told me. "Like any col-
lege— long on theory, short on
practice. The kid needs back-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
I clamped my mouth shut. I
didn't bring up the original ob-
jections to Jimmy from Cortland
and Simms, and neither did they.
TVTOW look, sir," said Jimmy.
-L^ "I have your address. I'll
find my way to your house.
Would you mind going off and
I pointed out the window. A
dozen yardmen stood near Jim-
my's beat-up old car, waiting.
"And leave you with that re-
ception committee? Not on your
"You'll only make it worse," he
said. "It's got to be faced."
I looked at the eager young
face. It was pale, but I thought I
detected an urgency that couldn't
I said: "Okay. I'll gamble."
I called the head of Plant Pro-
tection, told him that if Jimmy
was seriously hurt, it was the
penitentiary for him, breathed a
prayer and went home.
Jimmy was a long time in com-
ing. Marion had supper on the
table and had heard all about my
day three times over before the
old car pulled up outside and the
adaptoman got out.
Marion gave a cry and almost
fainted. They had beaten the kid
horribly. He dragged himself into
the house. His head was a mass of
what I figured had to be a broken
"It took three of them," he said,
and passed out.
I called the Plant Protection
chief. He cursed me hotly. "The
young jerk asked for it. He
wanted to jump the whole lot of
'em. After that, what could I do?
Besides," he added thoughtfully,
"it was a damn good fight."
Jimmy came to while Marion
washed his cuts.
"Don't look so white, Hunt," he
said. "I've been through it a mil-
lion times at school." Then he
turned his face to the wall and
went to sleep.
I called Kirby and he came
right over. I suspect he'd been
waiting by the phone. Kirby may
be an egotist and a nuisance, but
he does have a healthy scientific
curiosity — and he'd never laid a
stethoscope on an adaptoman.
He allowed himself only one
small "I told you so." Then he
hustled into the bedroom with the
biggest suitcase of junk I'd ever
seen and began to examine the
patient. It took him an hour and
a half, which seemed overlong to
me, even for the beating Jimmy
Afterward, he rushed out, mut-
tered, "Keep him home for three
days," threw some prescriptions
at me and took off with an in-
blood and cuts, his nose was obvi- ward, absorbed look on his face.
ously broken, and he was holding
I went in to see Jimmy. He was
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
all bandaged up, but sitting up in
bed and smoking a cigarette —
"What's got into Old Kirby?" I
"There's the possibility of a
bone-chip on my second brain,"
he said. "Maybe this fight, maybe
some old fight — I've had lots of
them. It looks like I'll have to
have an exploratory operation."
"You're going to let Dr. Kirby
operate on your second brain?"
He nodded, blowing smoke up-
ward. "That's the way we left it.
Only it'll be about a month be-
fore I'll be built up enough for
"But Kirby is only a general
"Oh, he's done a little brain
work. Not as many as he'd like — "
I sat down weakly. "All right,
Adoptoman, I spot your methods.
You're doing great. Already got
the town licked. Cortland and
Simms because they think you're
all wet and they can have the
fun of retraining you. The yard-
men because they admire a guy
who can use his fists — never mind
the extra pair. Now Kirby. He
knows if he kicks you out, he
loses the chance of a lifetime to
tamper on the operating table
with an adaptoman sub-brain. So
the struggle for acceptance is
active jolts with the conception
gun shortly after pregnancy is
established. And pregnancy is a
woman's job. We won't win the
battle until we win the women.
That's going to be hard."
"I know already you're going
to win that one, kid."
There was something almost
sad in his look. "Let's wait and
"Hardly that, Hunt. An adapto-
man is the result of a few radio-
JIMMY was acepted by Worth-
ington. Have you ever lived
in a small town? Every one of
them has its town "character,"
usually a moron or cripple that
sells newspapers on the main cor-
ner, or works around the barber-
shop. He is accepted — as a freak.
That was the acceptance Jimmy
had in the next few weeks.
Life seemed to settle back into
a normal routine and I was lulled
into thinking that Jimmy would
slowly work his way up in esteem
over the months and years. I
coutan't have been more wrong.
The next situation was — special.
It began innocently enough
when the Reverend Dolson
preached a pointed sermon in
church one Sunday on adaptomen
and what they boded in the way
of destruction for the human race.
Tampering with men's genes and
But Jimmy had a pretty fair
voice and the choir was a little
short on tenors. Later, in church
with the Sunday sun soft through
the leaded glass window, shining
on his young, innocent face as he
lifted his head in praise of God —
Dolson gave him a Sunday
school class to teach.
And Aggie Burkes from our
office also had a class, so it was
only natural that she should
break him in as to his duties . . .
One night, Marion came home
and said : "Jimmy seems to be do-
ing all right. I went to see Aggie
Burkes — she had gone out on a
date with him."
I chuckled. "That won't last.
Cortland will stop it in a hurry,
and if he doesn't, plenty of other
I was wrong. Jimmy began to
date Aggie and the other fellows
didn't stop him.
I couldn't understand it. Aggie
was the best deal in town. Her
father was vice-president of the
bank. She worked only because
she preferred it that way. She had
the clean-washed blonde looks
that you associate with magazine
ads, and a warm personality with
a twist of daring to it . . .
"And that's the point," said Ma-
rion. "She doesn't care about
Jimmy. It's a bid for attention."
I guess it was, at first. But
Jimmy-boy was pretty good on
the ski slopes and swimming in
the ocean — those extra arms —
and when he slid behind the
wheel of her convertible and
drove her up into the Worthing-
ton Hills ...
I don't know what went on up
in the hills, but I doubt if it was
what some people said. After all,
Jimmy was only seventeen and
she was at least nineteen, and
they were both very mild and
It was Cortland's letting him
get away with it that I didn't
"A bachelor," explained Marion
to me patiently, "is really two men
— an eager one, but also a fright-
ened one. He would really rather
see somebody else take the cold
"Oh, brother!" I said. "TV psy-
Marion grinned and rubbed her
wedding ring on her blouse. The
A ND then it happened. A small
-^*- white envelope in the mail.
"Mr. and Mrs. Burkes invite you
I remember quietly laying
down the card and going into the
kitchen where Marion was cook-
"If Jimmy makes it," I said, "it
proves one thing — adaptomen
can live entirely normal lives.
Even marry the richest, prettiest
girl in town."
Marion frowned. "Maybe. But
— please, Hunt, I want to think
some more about our next child."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
I had been pushing her. Seeing
Jimmy's success had made me all
the more anxious to have our
next child adapto. I mean it made
sense to me, the way Jimmy ex-
plained it after his operation.
Dr. Kirby had had very little
to operate on. Jimmy had worked
the bone chip to the surface of his
brain. He told me that the Adap-
toman Institute taught a course in
psychodynamics — there weren't
many doctors in space.
"We're quite a lot different,
Hunt," he said, "but so is all of
Man's world. Look how Man has
changed it from the time he left
the trees. Cities, clothes, food —
you name it. He's changed every-
thing except himself."
Now Man was ready to change
himself, Jimmy explained. Man
had built his instruments so well
that they had to wait for him to
catch up. To grow extra arms to
handle the dials of his automated
world. An extra brain to coordi-
nate the mass of data his ma-
chines accumulated. An extra eye,
even, to be able to watch and
read and study and supply his
I had watched Jimmy work
and there was no doubt about it.
His second hand-eye-brain loop
could operate as a totally sepa-
rate unit — or he could read a
book while doing a normal job,
or paint a picture — or rest his
normal vision and normal arms.
He was more than twice as flex-
"It's got to come, Hunt," he
would say. "After all, adaptomen
have been out of the laboratory
for over fifty years now. We're
proving to be the only kind of
supermen that mankind will ac-
cept—the kind of superman that
is his own flesh and blood — that
anyone can parent.
"The operation on the mother
is routine. Atomic controlled radi-
ation shortly after conception. By
that time, the embryo is set and
you can still tamper with its un-
specialized parts. There've been
"And think of this. If an Arab
considers a fat woman beautiful
— or an African tribesman cher-
ishes a bride with plate-sized
He smiled his modest smile
and gave me a double shrug.
But there was a lot of sober
thinking done in Worthington
that night, when those wedding
invitations were delivered.
Before, Jimmy was only a tem-
porary fixture. Rootless. Now he
was going to become a part of us.
A father, a home-owner, a full-
And his children ...
I think I hated Jimmy myself
for the next week. Of course,
adaptomen seldom bred true. But
the idea of one of our girls lying
in those double arms, and the
third eye sharing marriage-bed
secrets . . .
The strain mounted. I felt my-
self being sharp with the lad, even
though he'd become one of us.
Marion seemed to turn cold, as if
he'd committed some crime. The
men who'd been conned into ac-
cepting him were frustrated, the
women openly hostile. The back-
yard buzz must have been terrific.
Aggie herself seemed restrained,
defiant. I think she really cared
for Jimmy, but this was the same
girl who once took her father's
car through the Old Jantzen riv-
er bed on a dare.
Nor could Cortland help. He'd
waited too long.
REMEMBER the night before
the wedding. Jimmy got drunk
that night, a callow kid, barely
eighteen and old enough to be
married, yet, with his extra arms
and brain, the equivalent of a
mature man of thirty.
"Look," I said to him. "This is
no go. Aggie isn't right for you.
Even I feel that and I'm usually
on your side. But you're making
too much of an issue of it. A —
I felt like a character in a con-
Jimmy picked up his glass and
weaved across the living room.
His face was pale and sweaty and
he kept passing his glass between
his upper and lower hands in an
unearthly and horrible fashion.
"Listen, Marion, old bird," he
told my wife. "Go 'head, have
your little adaptokid. 'Sgreat!
Look at me. Self-s'porting at sev-
enteen. Cump'ney president at
thirty. Marry the prettiest girl in
town. Super, thass what we are —
"You're drunk!" said Marion,
standing up, her face strained.
"She don't love me and I don'
give a damn!" shouted Jimmy.
"Proved it anyway. Proved can
marry best this loushy town has
Marion's hand shot out and she
slapped his face. "Monster!"
He grabbed her with his extra
arm. Maybe it was only to steady
himself, but my flesh crawled and
I jumped across the room. I hit
him straight on the mouth.
"Get your goddam hands—"
He went down on the floor and
cut his hand on his broken glass.
He began to weep softly, "'m no
monshter. 'm no monshter." He
lifted his young, earnest face. "No
monshter," he whispered, and
A WEDDING is like a stage
-^"*- play; once the curtain goes
up, there's no way to stop it short
of a fire.
There we sat, practically the
whole of Worthington in Dolson's
church. The flowers were banked
high. The Sun shone through the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
leaded windows. The altar looked
very solemn and important. The
organist did her duty and the so-
loist sang the old, true songs. But
an air of horror prevailed. Men
and women looked at one an-
other, amazed at being there.
I had to stand up for Jimmy,
which I did, feeling miserable,
like an accomplice in a crime.
Jimmy came in, trying to de-em-
phasize his extra arms by keep-
ing them unnaturally still. This
only made them more prominent.
His extra eye was safely out of
sight under his white shirt and
tie. It would have been better if
he'd peered with it, for it was a
merry, soft eye, proud of its
uniqueness, in the protected hol-
low of his throat.
A last-minute delegation of the
women to Aggie's the night be-
fore had failed
And now the wedding march
began. Jimmy turned to welcome
his bride. She looked very white,
almost unreal in her lacy gown.
The men in the church looked
drawn. But the women were star-
ing with almost open horror.
I saw Aggie's eyes flick over at
Cortland as she came to the altar.
Then she and Jimmy joined
hands and it began.
It will never be easy to forget
the moment when Jimmy turned
for the ring. I gave it to him. He
fumbled it. Maybe it was my
He dropped the ring.
Then he was down on all fours,
his hands darting desperately in
Aggie stared down and her
eyes seemed to glaze. "No — not
you — spider!* she cried. She
picked up her train and ran, cry-
ing, out the side exit.
Then, in the pin-dropping si-
lence, we all stared at Jimmy and
he stared back at us.
I can still hear that high tenor
voice : "But I'm not a monster!"
Then he covered his face with
his hands — four hands— and went
quietly weeping down the aisle
and out of the church.
We never saw him again.
Bless the Reverend Dolson, he
stood there like a captain on a
sinking ship and said calmly:
"Since the attendance today is
better than I usually get on Sun-
day, I will now preach the sermon
I was saving for that day." And
he slid into a sermon on toler-
ance with a great deal of spark
It felt warm and cosy there, all
closer together, at one with each
other, as if we had come to the
brink of a tragedy and had been
ICTURE my astonishment
when, a few days later, Marion
made an appointment to visit the
San Francisco Adaptoman Insti-
"Poor Jimmy, " she said. "He
wasn't really a monster, you know.
That horrible Aggie simply led
way ne saia it,"
breathed. "'But I'm not a mon-
"But our child — an adapto —
he'll be run out of town."
"Betty Guard is going to have
an adapto," said Marion firmly.
"So's Nelly Price, maybe. Don't
but me any buts."
That's about all to tell.
Except for one thing. Jimmy
had rushed back to our house and
cleared out of town by the time
we returned. He had packed hur-
riedly and left.
But there was one piece of pa-
per on my desk, left careless like,
and yet —
Well, here it is. You judge:
merit in Oregon. Do not linger after
the Ting-drop, since the church rou-
tine as you go weeping down the
aisle is the best final impression that
an agent can possibly leave. It can-
not be improved upon. Good luck.
I wonder if Jimmy really for-
got that piece of paper.
Or if he figured a poor, con-
fused Employment Manager
could be saved one bit of torture
as to the devious motives and
methods of the human and
RAYMOND E. BANKS
Subject: Worthington Assignment
To: Agent James Warwick
( 1 ) You will win acceptance with
the men of Worthington by the usual
procedures. (2) You will win ac-
ceptance of the women of Worth-
ington by the usual procedures. (3)
In no case is an agent permitted to
marry the girl, as this raises hostility
in a new territory. (4) As a last
resort, the ring-drop has been found
effective. (5) Upon completion of
your assignment, you will depart
Worthington for your next assign-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
By RICHARD WILSON
No wonder Fadur was dismayed
— to take over Earth, he had
to manufacture a whole army!
HP HE young man from Alfadu-
■*■ riesta was magnificent, as
young men from Alfaduriesta go.
He had a powerful chest which
tapered to a narrow waist, mus-
cular thighs and calves and some-
what oversized feet. His head, ad-
mittedly, was small for the body,
but not grotesque, and he had the
usual number of eyes — three.
That was the trouble, the eyes.
Most of the people he would be
among had only two eyes, and he
had to mingle. His chest, though
massive, was flexible and he could
disguise it by breathing shallowly.
But he couldn't hide the third eye
except under an awkward band-
The Durien Fathers had
goofed that one.
"Go among them and multi-
ply," the Durien Fathers had in-
structed him before they folded
him into the fiery sphere and
hurled him through space from
the core gun. "Earthwomen are a
Illustrated by GAUGHAN
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST
fun-loving, nubile lot and their
men are stupid. Make love to the
women and avoid the men, and
when you have ten thousand sons,
we will attack."
The young man from Alfadu-
riesta, whose name was Fadur,
had asked if the scheme was bio-
logically sound and they had
shown him scrolls from the scroll-
ery and flasks from the laboratory
and spectrostrobioscopic slides
from the observatory. These
added nothing to his knowledge,
but they were an impressive ar-
ray which gave him more confi-
"But will their women love
me?" Fadur had asked. All the
Durien Fathers had winked
their upper eyes and the Father-
in-Chief had led him to the pater-
Soon after that, he was in the
downtube, on his way to the
TVTOW, fully dressed and band-
■*■ ^ aged, Fadur sat on the sand
at Miami Beach and considered
his mission. All around him were
the fun-loving, nubile women and
the stupid, underdeveloped men.
There were children, too, but not
There would have to be ten
thousand male children of his
own, he reflected. Simple arith-
metic meant at least thirty thou-
sand loves, to allow for the inci-
dence of female offspring and for
the percentage of alliances which
would be unproductive for one
reason or another.
Fadur felt a touch of panic and
transferred his gaze to the sea. It
looked flat and dull without the
perspective of his bandaged third
eye. It had been out there — two
hundred miles out — that the fiery
sphere had plopped him. The Du-
rien Fathers had goofed that one,
too. It had been a long swim.
A pleasant maiden strolled past,
idly crunching the sand with her
toes, and gave Fadur a look. It
was the first look he'd had all day
and he sprang to his feet and
bowed. She stopped and giggled.
"Do me the honor to con-
verse," he said. He thought he
put it rather well.
The girl giggled again. "Sure.
Why not? Where are you from,
"India, yes," Fadur said. "Sit,
please. Where are you from?"
"Dumont, New Jersey," she
said. "You're a long way from
home. Do you like it here?"
"Yes. And I like you. Shall we
hold hands, as a prelude?" The
Fathers had warned him the pre-
liminaries must be subtle.
All at once, the girl was gog-
gling frightenedly at him. "I'm
fifteen years old and that's my
father over there. I don't think I
better sit. I think I better walk.
Have a nice visit. So long."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"So long," said Fadur, confused
by the evaporation of a promising
friendship. Fifteen years was not
the optimum age, apparently.
He got to his feet and moved
away from both the girl and her
father who, he noticed, was not
underdeveloped in the slightest.
Somebody said "Ouch!" He saw
that he had stepped on a portion
of the anatomy of someone par-
tially buried in the sand. Only the
face was visible, and only a bit of
that, hidden under a big straw
hat, dark glasses and nose shield.
There was lipstick on the
mouth, so it must be a woman.
SHE raised her head and said
mildly, "Clumsy oaf."
"Ten thousand pardons," Fadur
"One is enough." The red lips
smiled. "Cover up the toesies
again, will you?"
Fadur bent and patted sand
over the feet, then sat.
"That's better," the woman said.
"I burn easily is why I'm all
mummified up. What happened
to your forehead? Cut yourself
"Yes. I am clumsy, as you have
learned." He thought that was
"But you make amends nicely.
You're not an American, are you?
Where are you from, Spain?"
"Yes. A long way from home.
Where are you from?"
"Baltimore, Ohio, and my name
is Mary Smith. It really is!
"Fadur." This is excellent prog-
he thought. He wondered
what kind of body she would
bring out of the sand and what
kind of preliminaries would be
"That doesn't sound like a
Spanish name— Fadur," she said.
"Spaniards have names with lots
of things like de las and ys in
"Originally I am from distant
"That explains it." Her expres-
sion could not be seen under her
paraphernalia. "We have an In-
dian colony in Baltimore and I
can say without reservation that
they're very nice people."
He felt that the conversation
was getting away from him and
wished he'd had time to take the
course in Advanced English (Idio-
matic, Regional References).
"Perhaps we could go to a
place and drink whiskey," he sug-
gested, recalling that facet of his
"Not whiskey," she said. "I'm
a triple sec and quinine girl my-
self. What kind of place did you
have in mind?"
She unburied her arms and be-
gan to push the sand away. Fadur
helped, noticing as he did that
the body seemed entirely accept-
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST
FADUR and Mary Smith sat in
a booth in an overcool, over-
dim cocktail lounge. She had
changed into a pale violet gown
whose color made him think of
Alfaduriesta's pastureland, where
grazed the war animals.
The animals were getting dis-
gustingly fat in their idleness. It
had been nearly three rotachrons
since they'd been saddled and
armored in earnest, and then for a
short, unsatisfactory conquest. It
had lasted barely long enough for
Fadur to rise to lance-major.
But there had been compensa-
tion. Fadur's post-battle prowess
among the women of the sacked
cities had been noted by his su-
periors. So when the choice of a
young officer for Mission Earth
came to be made, Fadur qualified
He was not sure he was capable
of achieving the quota set for him,
but in the tradition of his service,
he was prepared to die, if neces-
So to work, he told himself,
sipping the triple sec and quinine
water. He found it not unlike the
solution he had sometimes put in
his eyes with the three-pronged
eyedropper to refresh them dur-
ing battle. Now this was his battle,
he thought, looking at the woman
from Baltimore, Ohio. She was
more than fifteen, he judged by
the maturely attractive face, and
Back of the third eye, two cren-
ellations and a convolution away,
Fadur's alarmer sounded.
"Pardon me," he said. The
alarm was a faint clicking in his
skull. He went to a telephone
booth, closed the door, dialed
Weather and listened instead to
Reception was terrible. He got
the impression of trouble — even
danger — all right, but the Durien
Fathers weren't reaching him with
details. He had only a vague
sense that they were trying to tell
him there was another agent on
Earth. But why? To help him? To
spy on him to be sure he did his
Or was it an enemy agent from
Tryluria, Myachanacia or Dob?
But surely those worlds would
not interfere with Alfaduriesta's
plans for Earth conquest. They
were so many light-eons away,
they couldn't care less. Besides,
Alfaduriesta had whipped two of
them decisively in wars and the
third, Myachanacia, was so puny
that Fadur had to laugh to think
of it making trouble for his great
He was still laughing when he
returned to Mary Smith. "It was
my traveling companion from
Spain. I had to see if he had need
of anything before he leaves for
Texas. He needs nothing. He is
very happy, having found a beau-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
QUOTA FOR CON
He held her gaze as he sat
down, his face becoming serious.
"I am very happy, too," he said
She smiled encouragingly. "Are
you here for business or pleasure,
"Business," he said. "But per-
haps pleasure will also enter into
Fadur wasn't sure how long it
was before she suggested that
they move on. He hadn't yet ad-
justed to Earth time. He did
know he'd given the waiter a
number of the green paper rec-
tangles the paternal disguiser had
provided and received some
metal disks in return. Mary Smith
had helped him with the money,
as it was called, and expressed
surprise that he had so many with
pictures of a bearded man named
The place they moved on to
was Mary's apartment.
Tt/TATTERS were progressing
IT J. verv we \\ f he thought. Mary
sat on a couch and, by degrees,
Fadur relaxed until his head was
in her lap.
She was tracing the outlines of
his face with pleasantly tickling
fingertips when things began to
"Must you wear that bandage?"
"Yes. It is an ugly cut."
"Then let me change the dress-
ing for you. I used to be a student
"No!" He sat upright. She must
be the spy the clickings had
warned him about.
"Oh, come on. It won't take a
"No!" He stood and backed
She got up and came toward
him and he bolted out the door,
his third eye throbbing under the
He came out blinking into the
street, surprised to find it was still
daylight. This heartened him and
he took a relatively deep breath,
being careful not to strain the
alien clothing too far. He might
still be able to make a start on
his mission today.
He must, in fact, for his mo-
Fadur's two-thirds vision didn't
see the convertible racing down
the street. It flung him to the
ground as brakes squealed.
Three young men piled out of
the car and helped him to his
feet, feeling for broken bones.
There were none, but they said
they'd take him to a hospital just
in case. Within seconds, he was in
the back seat, being raced away.
Two of the men sat in the
front, not talking. The third was
in the back with Fadur, looking
at him solicitously. "That was a
nasty spill," he said. "You must
be a mass of bruises."
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"Actually, no," Fadur said. "I the three young men. At least
am really not hurt."
"Nothing serious, I'm sure.
We're all medical students, as a
matter of fact, and we'd know.
But it's always best to let the
hospital have a look."
"I should prefer not to," Fadur
said as firmly as he could without
seeming rude. "I assure you there
is nothing wrong."
The medical student conferred
with his companions in the front
"All ri^ht. if you're sure," the
driver said. "But I think we ought
to keep an eye on you for a while.
We were just going for a drive.
Why don't you come along?"
"Delighted," Fadur agreed po-
litely, though he should have been
getting on with his mission. Now
if they had been three young
women . . .
As they left the city behind, the
car spurted ahead. Fadur relaxed
in the back seat and breathed the
fine clean wind — which gradually
loosened his bandage and then
blew it away.
The man from Alfaduriesta did
not notice immediately how the
scenery sharpened for him as
three-thirds vision returned. Not
until his companions, one after
another, stared at him did he
realize he had been unmasked.
He clapped a palm over the
eye in his forehead. With his other
eyes, he awaited the reactions of
they had not turned away in dis-
He was grateful for that.
r T 1 HE convertible slowed, then
■*■ stopped at the side of the road.
The driver turned in his seat. His
tone was almost conversational.
"I did see a third eye in your
forehead, didn't I?"
"Yes," Fadur said warily. Use-
less to deny it. His other eyes
watched them. He was prepared
to fight them like the warrior he
was if they even suspected he was
an alien bent on conquest of their
"You poor guy. So that's why
you wore the bandage. What you
need is an operation."
"To remove the third eye.
Make you look like everybody
"Maybe he doesn't want to
look like everybody else, Ben,"
the man next to the driver said.
"Maybe that third eye is his liv-
ing. You with the circus up at
"No," said Fadur. He was glad
he wouldn't have to fight these
friendly people who not only did
not suspect him but were anxious
to help him. They might be use-
ful. Slowly he moved his hand
away from the third eye.
The medical students looked at
it with professional interest. Ask-
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST
ing his permission, they took
turns examining it.
Fadur decided on frankness.
Not much, but enough to appeal
to them on a plane which they, as
virile young men, would under-
"With three eyes, I can see the
young ladies much better," he ex-
plained, "but they do not choose
to see me."
"That's rough," the man next to
him said. "That really is. We
ought to do something about that.
You ought to, Ben. You're the one
who's going to be the plastic sur-
Ben frowned and examined the
eye again. "Hell of a series of
operations. But a little cosmetic
disguise for a one-night stand — a
"Do you mean it would not be
difficult?" Fadur asked. "That I
could perhaps disguise the eye
"Easy," Ben said, "once I
showed you how." He turned to
the others. "Men, it's a time for
action. I propose that we make
amends for running him down by
guaranteeing him a girl tonight."
"Hear, hear," the others said.
"I therefore further propose
that we head back to the hospital
for the necessary materials, then
to the beer store for the necessary
beer, then to my apartment. And
when our friend is fixed up eye-
wise, we'll fix him up further with
one of the pleasantest little babes
he ever laid two or more eyes on."
66T\ON'T put all the alcohol in
*-* the punch, George," Ben
said. "We need some of it for
The fact that Fadur's third eye
was set deep in its socket made it
relatively easy to disguise. Fadur,
who had resigned himself to an-
swering to Faddy or Fade,
watched his mirror image closely
as the work progressed. He asked
an occasional question and was
allowed to do some of the job.
As Ben worked on him, the
other two medical students pre-
pared for the party. George and
Ralph had already used the tele-
phone and four young ladies were
on tap. Ralph was to fetch them
in the convertible as soon as Ben
was satisfied that Fadur would
"For Pete's sake, don't get the
colloid mixed up with the calves'
brains!" Ben yelled at George,
who was puttering at the buffet.
"Faddy, work in some more of
that pigment. That's it. Ralph,
we're almost finished. You can get
the girls now."
"You're the doctor," Ralph said.
Ben stood back to admire his
work. "Now for the finishing
touches. It's all built up, but it's
still a little grainy. Know what's
good for that? Good old pancake
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
makeup. The sins that stuff cov-
They were having a drink in
celebration when Ralph returned
with the girls. He introduced
them to Fadur : Marie, Lily, Taffy
They were all quite acceptable,
Fadur thought, but Taffy seemed
to him to be the most exciting.
He was pleased when the boys
told him she had been invited
especially for him. She had a bet-
ter figure than the other girls and
her hair was long, unlike the boy-
ish cuts of the others. He espe-
cially liked the heavy bangs that
fell across her forehead.
He also liked the friendly way
she took his arm and her laughter
as they helped themselves at the
buffet. He found that he was quite
hungry and was glad to see her
eat well, too. In fact, everything
she did made him feel at home.
He looked at the other men to
smile his thanks to them for what
they had done, especially Ben,
and they grinned back and
nodded. Wonderful people, he
thought. What a pity he and his
ten thousand sons must one day
make war on them. It was ironic
that their kindness to him would
be the means by which Alfaduri-
esta would bring them to their
knees, but war is full of ironies.
The mission was going well at
He was confident that the
friendly Taffy would also be kind
to him and thus be the first to
help him fill his quota. Every-
thing about the party — the falling
level of the punch bowl, the grad-
ual putting out of lights — was
leading in that direction.
The last lamp winked out.
There were a few laughs, then
Taffy's body was soft against
his. This was the moment, the
first of ten thousand. He was
about to guide her to an unoccu-
pied corner he had strategically
noted earlier — when all the lights
came on, blindingly.
The nubile Taffy was holding
a weapon aimed directly at his
hidden third eye. He blinked the
other two in surprise. The other
girls had gone, but the three men
were there, each with a pistol
trained on him.
EN broke the silence. "Shall
we introduce ourselves? You
"Fadur, a traveler from India.*
He sought to brazen it out, but in
spite of himself, he inhaled and
his chest expanded threateningly.
"None of that," Ben warned. "It
just makes you a bigger target,
Lance-Major Fadur of Alfaduri-
Ralph was grinning. "First in-
tergalactic spy," he said, "and a
rather stupid one."
Fadur's chest deflated. The Du-
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST
rien Fathers had really goofed.
"Who are you?" he asked miser-
"No harm in telling you now,
Lance-Major. I'm Ben Haskill of
C.I.A. This is Ralph Peddiford of
M.I.5 and this is Georgi Rakov
of Red Army Intelligence."
"But how-?" Fadur began.
Surely he had not given himself
away. He had been so careful,
"You had the misfortune to
come to Earth during the Interna-
tional Geophysical Year," Ben
told him, "when every telescope
in the world was tracking the arti-
ficial satellites. You were under
surveillance from the minute you
entered Earth's atmosphere."
Fadur felt numb. "Who is the
"You should know better than
we. She's from your system, not
Taffy, smiling insultingly, lifted
the bangs he had admired so.
From the middle of her forehead,
a third eye gleamed triumphantly
"You're not from Alfaduriesta!"
Fadur cried. "We have no traitors
"Not Alfaduriesta," the girl said.
She took a deep breath and her
bosom swelled magnificently. "It's
good to be oneself again. I am
Tafi, of Myachanacia, tiie planet
of women. You invaded and
sacked Tryluria and Dob, but you
never dared attack Myachanacia.
You knew we'd swallow you up."
"Ridiculous! Alfaduriesta fears
"Except us," Tafi said. "You
knew that if your soldiers carried
on at Myachanacia in their usual
way, you'd leave us with the
strain we needed to make us
great. You did not dare supply
the missing gene whose absence
has kept our men weak and our
courageous women not quite
strong enough. But now we have
you, Lance-Major Fadur."
TJER meaning was unmistak-
•?"■■ able. Fadur appealed to his
fellow males. "I plead extraterri-
toriality. You can't let her kidnap
me and- It's humiliating."
"We have no jurisdiction over
you," Ben Haskill told him. "Tafi
has. She came to us openly and
brought a warrant. Our govern-
ments have consulted and agreed
to honor it. It seems only justice.
Besides, none of our countries
wants any part of your ten thou-
sand three-eyed babies. We hap-
pen to be prejudiced in favor of
"Don't let her take me! I'll do
anything you say. I'll be good!"
"You'd better be," Tafi said.
"Because on Myachanacia, your
quota won't be a mere ten thou-
sand. According to your reputa-
tion, that should be a fitting life
As Fadur was herded to Tafi's
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
spaceship, there was a clicking in
his skull. Then, for the first time
since he had left, Alfaduriesta was
in clear contact.
"Lance-Major Fadur, attention
to orders," the message said. "Re-
turn immediately. Operation
Earth canceled. Reason: potential
threat from Myachanacia, where
our agent reports plans for secret
weapon posing ultimate invasion."
Fadur supposed he should feel
flattered. His chest expanded a
bit as he looked sideways at the
beautiful Tan and thought of hef
millions of equally beautiful love-
What the stupid Durien Fath-
ers didn't know, but what Fadur
knew all too well, was that he wag
the secret weapon.
- RICHARD WILSON
In LULU, next month's lead novelet, Clifford D. Simak gives fair warn-
ing that we're in for servomechanism trouble unless we prove a lot smarter
than we have been in related matters. Don't, he insists, invoke the worried
wisdom of the ancients and the jauntily cockeyed knowledge of mariners,
pilots and drivers of all sorts! Though the experience of these advance
agents with cybernetics ranges from zero to somewhat, it is generally sad
and points invariably to caution. And their calamitous histories add up to
tin's innocent-seeming conclusion, which proves to be a nerve-snapping
threat: A spaceship should be a darb, a smasher, a pip, a beaut . . . but
man all battle stations if it ever becomes a sweetheart of a ship!
One of the supporting pair of novelets is CONFIDENCE GAME by
Jim Harmon, a man with a Vesuvius of a talent that, v/e predict, is good
for a giant flow of flaming literary lava for decades to come. CONFIDENCE
GAME is perhaps the oddest con you've ever encountered: Its protagonist,
if that's what he is, has no qualms about admitting that he doesn't know
whether he is coming or going . . . but he does know that if he sticks to the
old man, he is a comer . . . even if the old man is a goner!
Along with some fine short stories is Willy Ley's THE TRIBES OF THE
DINOSAURS, which goes over old ground — more than a hundred million
years old — in an excitingly new way. So you think you know dinosaurs, do
you? Don't be sure, for Ley is bound to prove most of it downright misin-
formation . . . but then, after showing why it is wrong, he sets it right with
QUOTA FOR CONQUEST
TIME FOR THE STARS by
Robert A. Heinlein. Charles Scrib-
ner's Sons, N. Y. $2.75
IF YOU think this is strictly
■■■ a juvenile, you're going to
miss out on an engrossing yarn.
A pair of identical twins are
the protagonists, selected by the
Long Range Foundation, a non-
profit organization that takes on
projects that no other agency will
tackle due to excessive expense
or poor immediate return on in-
pair are trained as communica-
tors for the first star ships. Ex-
periments have shown that telep-
athy is instantaneous, a discov-
ery that opens interstellar travel
Tom Bartlett, the narrator, is
the lesser half of the set. Pat, the
more aggressive twin, is obviously
the choice for the team half who
is to be enshipped, so Tom will
remain Earthbound, aging while
his counterpart remains youthful
in Einstein time. The thing to
remember, however, is that Hein-
Along with other twins, also lein is always logical but never
latent telepaths, the protagonist obvious, even in his juveniles.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
The plot twists will take you by
surprise and the characterizations
will delight you.
I say "y° u " because, if you
don't battle your youngun for first
look, you may never get it out of
SATELLITE! by Erik
and William Beller.
House, N. Y., $3.95
AS I write this, the Air Force
-^*- has just fired the first experi-
mental rocket of the satellite pro-
gram from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
If not for this, the book would
seem to be merely the tardy lat-
est of the spate of satellite books
that have appeared since the gov-
ernment program announcement.
Instead, some of the information
is new and most of the remainder
is an interesting resume of mate-
rial found elsewhere. Of course,
that is a fault to be pinned on any
but the first book concerning
about any subject.
Unfortunately, the most grip-
ping information by far cannot be
written for security reasons. I can
wait for it — but not patiently.
STRANGERS IN THE UNI-
VERSE by Clifford D. Simak.
Simon and Schuster, N.Y., $3.50
T T HAPPENS that I'm a Simak
-■- fan since "World of the Red
to admit how long that is. His
present collection of eleven short
stories contains some of the best
writing he's done, as well as a
couple of pot-boilers that some
dastard sneaked in.
and "Skirmish" are all topnotch,
the former from these pages.
As his admirers know by now,
Simak can run a gamut as well as
anyone in the field, both in sub-
ject matter and treatment. The
book demonstrates just how much
ground he can cover, which is
darn near a Decathlon.
SPOOKE DELUXE by Danton
Walker. Franklin Watts, Inc.,
TVTOTHING ever happens to
-*- Walker except that people
talk to him. However, those peo-
pie are very frequently interest-
ing and newsworthy. According
to him, quite a few have had
most unusual encounters with the
supernatural that would ordinar-
ily go unrecorded. To save these
yarns from oblivion, Walker has
secured permission to quote these
notable sources, unlikely ones
such as Mae West, a most earthy
person: Burl Ives, substantial in-
deed; Ida Lupino, Dorothy Mas-
The episodes are all concise
and understated and, as a result,
Sun," and both of us would hate come out quite credible.
* • • • • SHELF
E PLURIBUS UNICORN by
Theodore Sturgeon. Ballantine
Books, N. Y., $2.00
A BELARD first published this
■^*- collection in 1953 and, since
Sturgeon has never appeared to
more horrible disadvantage, Bal-
lantine is to be commended for
making the book presentable.
The keynote of the volume is
horror and very few fantasists to-
day can hold a taper to Sturgeon
when he gets a mood on. "The
Professor's Teddy-Bear," "Fluffy"
and "A Way of Thinking" have as
many shudders packed into their
few pages as most full-length
weird novels. As change of pace,
and thoroughly absorbing in their
own rights, two fairy stories are
added, "The Silken-Swift" and
"The World Well Lost."
This is fine off-trail Sturgeon,
but what Sturgeon isn't?
THE VENGEFUL SEA by Ed-
ward Rowe Snow. Dodd, Mead &
Co., N. Y., $4.00
^CIENCE fiction has used the
^ sea as source material from
the days of Verne down to last
year's Dragon in the Sea and the
Williamson-Pohl series. It is ob-
vious that the sea has always
taxed Man's ingenuity and re-
mains far from conquered even
Snow has become a foremost
chronicler of true stories of the
deeps — this volume follows twen-
ty-odd predecessors. It deals with
some of the most astonishing
true-fact shipwrecks imaginable.
The Snow of the future, drama-
tizing spaceship disasters, will
have to come up with really flam-
boyant cases to outdo these true
SHADOW OVER THE EARTH
by Philip Wilding. Philosophical
Library, N. Y., $3.50
F WILDING shows the same
improvement in his next effort
as he does in this over Spaceflight
— Venus, he should reach the
level that S-F touched a quarter
of a century ago.
It is remarkable that the same
publishers who have been respon-
sible for such excellent non-fiction
English-printed volumes can do
no better than this fifth-rate novel.
With the high level of English
S-F what it is, it must take ex-
treme effort by the editors to
avoid the good fiction available.
YOU DO TAKE IT WITH YOU
by R. DeWitt Miller. Citadel
Press, N. Y., $3.50
ILLER is well known for his
many articles on psychical
research as well as his fictional
efforts. For a considerable time,
he conducted the monthly "For-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
gotten Mysteries" feature in Cor-
onet. He is a very compelling
writer, wisely using disclaimers
The point he makes is that we
are the ones who live outside the
STRANGEST OF ALL by Frank
Edwards. Citadel Press, N. Y.,
P^DWARDS is the same man
-" you thought you mistook the
name for — the radio and TV
commentator who became famous
on AFL time. This book is hardly
what one would expect from such
a solid, mundane background. Ed-
wards has collected strange data
in the fashion of Charles Fort, but
has presented his book in straight
Some of the anecdotes
startling, such as that of the
strange motor of John Keely's.
Even if it wasn't perpetual mo-
tion, the man seems to have had
Of thirty-five assorted strange
tales, over half are new. Others,
like the endless speculation over
the death of Napoleon, may be
the second time around for some
of you. Of course, we can be sure
that similar guesswork on Hitler's
death will also find its way into
AND THE WATERS PRE-
VAILED by D. Moreau Bar-
ringer. E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.,
N. Y., $3.00
^ INCE Wells's "A Story of the
^ Stone Age," countless similar
yarns have seen print, but only a
handful have had the stature of
this so-called juvenile.
Instead of following the famil-
iar pattern of necessity and in-
vention, Barringer strikes out on
a new trail, the development of
abstract thought. His hero, Andor,
is as unlikely a Stone Age hero as
possible. He is small, thin and
has nothing but a keen mind.
The story follows Andor from
his early youth, and his success in
the Manhood Hunt, through his
entire span of life. It records his
discovery of the waters of the
Atlantic and his realization, re-
quiring reasoning far ahead of his
time, that they constituted a
threat to his Mediterranean Basin
Most authors would have ended
their story with a battle between
Andor and the giant chief, with
the nimble wits of Andor saving
himself and the entire commu-
nity. Instead, Andor suffers the
bitter frustrations of most vision-
aries who live before their time.
The characterizations are as ex-
future volumes like this. May the cellent as the plot structure and
guesses be no less attention-grip- background.
FLOYD C. GALE
Illustrated by DILLON
By FRITZ LEIBER
Poor Butcher suffered more than any dictator
in history: everybody gave in to him because
he was so puny and they were so impregnable!
ROM the other end of the
Avenue of Wisdom that led
across the Peace, Park, a
gray, hairless, heavily built dog
was barking soundlessly at the
towering crystal glory of the
Time Theater. For a moment, the
effect was almost frightening: a
silent picture of the beginning of
civilization challenging the end of
it. Then a small boy caught up
with the dog and it rolled over
enthusiastically at his feet and
the scene was normal again.
The small boy, however,
seemed definitely pre-civilization.
He studied the dog coldly and
then inserted a thin metal tube
under its eyelid and poked. The
dog wagged its stumpy tail. The
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
TIME IN THE ROUND
boy frowned, tightened his grip
on the tube and jabbed hard. The
dog's tail thumped the cushiony
pavement and the four paws beat
the air. The boy shortened his
grip and suddenly jabbed the
dog several times in the stomach.
The stiff tube rebounded from
the gray, hairless hide. The dog's
face split in an upside-down grin,
revealing formidable ivory fangs
across which a long black tongue
The boy regarded the tongue
speculatively and pocketed the
metal tube with a grimace of ut-
ter disgust. He did not look up
when someone called: "Hi, Butch!
Sic 'em, Darter, sic 'em!"
A larger small boy and a
somewhat older one were ap-
proaching across the luxurious,
neatly cropped grass, preceded by
a hurtling shape that, except for
a black hide, was a replica of
Butch's gray dog.
Butch shrugged his shoulders
resignedly and said in a bored
voice: "Kill 'em, Brute."
HP HE gray dog hurled itself on
-*- Darter. Jaws gaped to get a
hold on necks so short and thick
as to be mere courtesy terms.
They whirled like a fanged merry-
go-round. Three more dogs, one
white, one slate blue and one
pink, hurried up and tried to
"What's the matter?" inquired
Darter's master. "I thought you
liked dog fights, Butch."
"I do like dog fights," Butch
said somberly, without looking
around. "I don't like uninj fights.
They're just a pretend, like every-
thing else. Nobody gets hurt. And
look here, Joggy — and you, too,
Hal — when you talk to me, don't
just say Butch. It's the Butcher,
"That's not exactly a functional
name," Hal observed with the ju-
diciousness of budding maturity,
while Joggy said agreeably: "All
right, Butcher, I suppose you'd
like to have lived way back when
people were hurting each other
all the time so the blood came
"I certainly would," the Butcher
replied. As Joggy and Hal turned
back skeptically to watch the
fight, he took out the metal tube,
screwed up his face in a dreadful
frown and jabbed himself in the
hand. He squeaked with pain and
whisked the tube out of sight.
"A kid can't do anything any
more," he announced dramati-
cally. "Can't break anything ex-
cept the breakables they give him
to break on purpose. Can't get
dirty except in the dirt-pen — and
they graduate him from that
when he's two. Can't even be bit-
ten by an uninj — it's contrapro-
"Where'd you ever get so fix-
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
ated on dirt?" Hal asked in a gen-
tle voice acquired from a robot
I've been reading a book
about a kid called Huckleberry
Finn," the Butcher replied airily.
"A swell book. That guy got dirt-
ier than anything." His eyes be-
came dreamy. "He even ate out
of a garbage pail."
"What's a garbage pail?"
"I don't know, but it sounds
The battling uninjes careened
into them. Brute had Darter by
the ear and was whirling him
"Aw, quit it, Brute," the Butcher
said in annoyance.
Brute obediently loosed his
hold and returned to his master,
paying no attention to his adver-
sary's efforts to renew the fight.
The Butcher looked Brute
squarely in the eyes. "You're
making too much of a rumpus,"
he said. "I want to think."
E KICKED Brute in the
face. The dog squirmed joy-
ously at his feet
"Look," Joggy said, "you
wouldn't hurt an uninj, for in-
stance, would you?"
"How can you hurt something
that's uninjurable?" the Butcher
demanded scathingly. "An uninj
isn't really a dog. It's just a lot
of circuits and a micropack bed-
at Brute with guarded wistfulness.
"I don't know about that," Hal
put in. "I've heard an uninj is
programmed with so many genu-
ine canine reactions that it prac-
tically has racial memory."
"I mean if you could hurt an
uninj," Joggy amended.
"Well, maybe I wouldn't," the
Butcher admitted grudgingly.
"But shut up -I want to think."
"About what?" Hal asked with
The Butcher achieved a fearful
frown. "When I'm World Direc-
tor," he said slowly, "I'm going
to have warfare again."
"You think so now," Hal told
him. "We all do at your age."
"We do not," the Butcher re-
torted. "I bet you didn't."
"Oh, yes, I was foolish, too," the
older boy confessed readily. "All
newborn organisms are self-cen-
tered and inconsiderate and ruth-
less. They have to be. That's
why we have uninjes to work out
on, and death games and fear
houses, so that our emotions are
cleared for adult conditioning.
And it's just the same with new-
born civilizations. Why, long after
atom power and the space drive
were discovered, people kept hav-
ing wars and revolutions. It took
ages to condition them differ-
ently. Of course, you can't appre-
ciate it this year, but Man's great-
est achievement was when he
ded in hyperplastic." He looked learned to automatically reject all
TIME IN THE ROUND
violent solutions to problems.
You'll realize that when you're
"I will not!" the Butcher coun-
tered hotly. "I'm not going to be
a sissy." Hal and Joggy blinked
at the unfamiliar word. "And
what if we were attacked by
bloodthirsty monsters from out-
side the Solar System?"
"The Space Fleet would take
care of them," Hal replied calmly.
"That's what it's for. Adults aren't
conditioned to reject violent solu-
tions to problems where non-hu-
man enemies are concerned. Look
at what we did to viruses."
"But what if somebody got at
us through the Time Bubble?"
"They can't. It's impossible."
"Yes, but suppose they did all
"You've never been inside the
Time Theater — you're not old
enough yet — so you just can't
know anything about it or about
the reasons why it's impossible,"
Hal replied with friendly factu-
ality. "The Time Bubble is just a
viewer. You can only look through
it, and just into the past, at that.
But you can't travel through it
because you can't change the
past. Time traveling is a lot of kid
"I don't care," the Butcher as-
serted obstinately. "I'm still going
to have warfare when I'm World
"They'll condition you out of
the idea," Hal assured him.
"They will not. I won't let 'em."
"It doesn't matter what you
think now," Hal said with finality.
"You'll have an altogether differ-
ent opinion when you're six."
"Well, what if I will?" the
Butcher snapped back. "You don't
have to keep telling me about it,
THE others were silent. Joggy
began to bounce up and down
abstractedly on the resilient pave-
ment. Hal called in his three un-
injes and said in soothing tones:
"Joggy and I are going to swim
over to the Time Theater. Want
to walk us there, Butch?"
"How about it, Butch?"
Still Butch did not seem to
The older boy shrugged and
said: "Oh, well, how about it —
The Butcher swung around.
"They won't let me in the Time
Theater. You said so yourself."
"You could walk us over
"Well, maybe I will and maybe
"While you're deciding, we'll
get swimming. Come along,
Still scowling, the Butcher took
a white soapy crayon from the
bulging pocket in his silver shorts.
Pressed into the pavement, it
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
made a black mark. He scrawled
pensively: KEEP ON THE
He gazed at his handiwork.
No, darn it, that was just what
grownups wanted you to do. This
grass couldn't be hurt. You
couldn't pull it up or tear it off;
it hurt your fingers to try. A rub
with the side of the crayon re-
moved the sign. He thought for
a moment, then wrote: KEEP
OFF THE GRASS.
With an untroubled counte-
nance, he sprang up and hurried
after the others.
Joggy and the older boy were
swimming lazily through the air
at shoulder height. In the pave-
ment directly under each of them
was a wide, saucer-shaped depres-
sion which swam along with them.
The uninjes avoided the depres-
sions. Darter was strutting on his
hind legs, looking up inquiringly
at his master.
"Gimme a ride, Hal, gimme a
ride!" the Butcher called. The
older boy ignored him. "Aw, gim-
me a ride, Joggy."
"Oh, all right." Joggy touched
the small box attached to the
front of his broad metal harness
and dropped lightly to the
ground. The Butcher climbed on
his back. There was a moment of
rocking and pitching, during
which each boy accused the other
of trying to upset them.
Then the Butcher got his bal-
ance and they began to swim
along securely, though at a level
several inches lower. Brute sprang
up after his master and was in-
visibly rebuffed. He retired baf-
fled, but a few minutes later, he
was amusing himself by furious
futile efforts to climb the hemi-
spherical repulsor field.
Slowly the little cavalcade of
boys and uninjes proceeded down
the Avenue of Wisdom. Hal
amused himself by stroking to-
ward a tree. When he was about
four feet from it, he was gently
T WAS really a more tiring
method of transportation than
walking and quite useless against
the wind. True, by rocking the re-
pulsor hemisphere backward, you
could get a brief forward push,
but it would be nullified when
you rocked forward. A slow swim-
ming stroke was the simplest way
to make progress.
The general sensation, how-
ever, was delightful and levitators
were among the most prized of
"There's the Theater," Joggy
"I know," the Butcher said ir-
But even he sounded a little
solemn and subdued. From the
Great Ramp to the topmost airy
finial, the Time Theater was the
dream of a god realized in un-
earthly substance. It imparted the
aura of demigods to the adults
TIME IN THE ROUND
drifting up and down the ramp.
"My father remembers when
there wasn't a Time Theater," Hal
said softly as he scanned the fa-
cade's glowing charts and maps.
"Say, they're viewing Earth,
somewhere in Scandinavia around
zero in the B.C.-A.D. time scale.
It should be interesting."
"Will it be about Napoleon?"
the Butcher asked eagerly. "Or
Hitler?" A red-headed adult heard
and smiled and paused to watch.
A lock of hair had fallen down
the middle of the Butcher's fore-
head, and as he sat Joggy like a
charger, he did bear a faint re-
semblance to one of the grim lit-
tle egomaniacs of the Dawn Era.
"Wrong millennium," Hal said.
"Tamerlane then?" the Butcher
pressed. "He killed cities and
piled the skulls. Blood-bath stuff.
Oh, yes, and Tamerlane was a
Scand of the Navies."
Hal looked puzzled and then
quickly erased the expression.
"Well, even if it is about Tamer-
lane, you can't see it. How about
"They won't let me in, either."
"Yes, they will. You're five
years old now."
"But I don't feel any older,"
Joggy replied doubtfully.
"The feeling comes at six. Don't
worry, the usher will notice the
Hal and Joggy switched off
their levitators and dropped to
their feet. The Butcher came
down rather hard, twisting an
ankle. He opened his mouth to
cry, then abruptly closed it hard,
bearing his pain in tight-lipped si-
lence like an ancient soldier —
like Stalin, maybe, he thought,
The red-headed adult's face
twitched in half-humorous sym-
Hal and Joggy mounted the
Ramp and entered a twilit cor-
ridor which drank their faint foot-
steps and returned pulses of light.
The Butcher limped manfully
after them, but when he got in-
side, he forgot his battle injury.
AL looked back. "Honestly,
the usher will stop you."
The Butcher shook his head.
I'm going to think my way in.
I'm going to think old."
"You won't be able to fool the
usher, Butcher. You under-fives
simply aren't allowed in the Time
Theater. There's a good reason
for it — something dangerous
might happen if an under-five got
"I don't exactly know, but
"Hah! I bet they're scared we'd
go traveling in the Time Bubble
and have some excitement."
"They are not. I guess they just
know you'd get bored and wander
away from your seats and maybe
disturb the adults or upset the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
electronics or something. But
don't worry about it. Butcher. The
usher will take care of you."
"Shut up - I'm thinking I'm
World Director," the Butcher in-
formed them, contorting his face
Hal spoke to the uninjes, point-
ing to the side of the corridor.
Obediently four of them lined up.
But Brute was peering down
the corridor toward where it
merged into a deeper darkness.
His short legs stiffened, his neck-
less head seemed to retreat even
further between his powerful
shoulders, his lips writhed back
to show his gleaming fangs, and
a completely unfamiliar sound is-
sued from his throat. A choked,
grating sound. A growl. The other
uninjes moved uneasily.
"Do you suppose something's
the matter with his circuits?"
J°ggy whispered. "Maybe he's
getting racial memories from the
"Of course not," Hal said ir-
"Brute, get over there," the
Butcher commanded. Unwillingly,
eyes still fixed on the blackness
ahead, Brute obeyed.
The three boys started on. Hal
and Joggy experienced a vaguely
electrical tingling that vanished
almost immediately. They looked
back. The Butcher had been
stopped by an invisible wall.
"I told you you couldn't fool
the usher," Hal said.
The Butcher hurled himself
forward. The wall gave a little,
then bounced him back with
"I bet it'll be a bum time view
anyway," the Butcher said, not
giving up, but not trying again.
"And I still don't think the usher
can tell how old you are. I bet
there's an over-age teacher spying
on you through a hole, and if he
doesn't like your looks, he switches
on the usher."
¥>UT the others had disap-
■*-* peared in the blackness. The
Butcher waited and then sat
down beside the uninjes. Brute
laid his head on his knee and
growled faintly down the corridor.
"Take it easy, Brute," the
Butcher consoled him. "I don't
think Tamerlane was really a
Scand of the Navies anyhow."
Two chattering girls hardly
bigger than himself stepped
through the usher as if it weren't
The Butcher grimly slipped
out the metal tube and put it to
his lips. There were two closely
spaced faint plops and a large
green stain appeared on the bare
back of one girl, while purple
fluid dripped from the close-
cropped hair of the other.
They glared at him and one of
TIME IN THE ROUND
them said: "A cub!" But he had
his arms folded and wasn't look-
ing at them.
Meanwhile, subordinate ushers
had guided Hal and Joggy away
from the main entrance to the
Time Theater. A sphincter di-
lated and they found themselves
in a small transparent cubicle from
which they could watch the show
without disturbing the adult au-
dience. They unstrapped their
levitators, laid them on the floor
and sat down.
The darkened auditorium was
circular. Rising from a low cen-
tral platform was a huge bubble
of light, its lower surface some-
what flattened. The audience was
seated in concentric rows around
the bubble, their keen and com-
passionate faces dimly revealed
by the pale central glow.
But it was the scene within the
bubble that riveted the attention
of the boys.
Great brooding trees, the trunks
of the nearer ones sliced by the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
bubble's surface, formed the back-
ground. Through the dark, wet
foliage appeared glimpses of a
murky sky, while from the ceiling
of the bubble, a ceaseless rain
dripped mournfully. A hooded
figure crouched beside a little fire
partly shielded by a gnarled
trunk. Squatting round about
were wiry, blue-eyed men with
shoulder-length blond hair and
full blond beards. They were
clothed in furs and metal-studded
Here and there were scattered
weapons and armor — long swords
glistening with oil to guard them
from rust, crudely painted circu-
lar shields, and helmets from
which curved the horns of beasts.
Back and forth, lean, wolflike
dogs paced with restless monot-
^ OMETIMES the men seemed
M to speak together, or one
would rise to peer down the misty
forest vistas, but mostly they
TIME IN THE ROUND
were motionless. Only the hooded
figure, which they seemed to re-
gard with a mingled wonder and
fear, swayed incessantly to the
rhythm of some unheard chant.
"The Time Bubble has been
brought to rest in one of the bar-
baric cultures of the Dawn Era,"
a soft voice explained, so casually
that Joggy looked around for the
speaker, until Hal nudged him
sharply, whispering with barely
"Don't do that, Joggy. It's just
the electronic interpreter. It
senses our development and hears
our questions and then it auto-
mats background and answers.
But it's no more alive than an
adolescer or a kinderobot. Got a
billion microtapes, though."
The interpreter continued : "The
skin-clad men we are viewing in
Time in the Round seem to be
a group of warriors of the sort
who lived by pillage and rapine.
The hooded figure is a most un-
usual find. We believe it to be
that of a sorcerer who pretended
to control the forces of nature
and see into the future."
Joggy whispered: "How is it
that we can't see the audience
through the other side of the bub-
ble? We can see through this side,
"The bubble only shines light
as the interpreter. "Nothing, not
even light, can get into the bubble
from outside. The audience on
the other side of the bubble sees
into it just as we do, only they're
seeing the other way — for in-
stance, they can't see the fire be-
cause the tree is in the way. And
instead of seeing us beyond, they
see more trees and sky."
Joggy nodded. "You mean that
whatever way you look at the
bubble, it's a kind of hole through
"That's right." Hal cleared his
throat and recited: "The bubble
is the locus of an infinite number
of one-way holes, all centering
around two points in space-time,
one now and one then. The bub-
ble looks completely open, but if
you tried to step inside, you'd be
stopped — and so would an atom
beam. It takes more energy than
an atom beam just to maintain
the bubble, let alone maneuver
"I see, I guess," Joggy whis-
pered. "But if the hole works for
light, why can't the people inside
the bubble step out of it into our
"Why — er — you see, Joggy—"
The interpreter took over. "The
holes are one-way for light, but
no-way for matter. If one of the
individuals inside the bubble
out," Hal told him hurriedly, to walked toward you, he would
show he knew some things as well cross-section and disappear. But
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
to the audience on the opposite ble, if the people don't? What I
mean is, if one of the people
walks toward us, he shrinks to a
side of the bubble, it would be
obvious that he had walked away
along the vista down which they red blot and disappears. Why
are peering." doesn't the light coming our way
"Well — you see, Joggy, it isn't
S IF to provide an example, a
figure suddenly materialized real light. It's
on their side of the bubble. The
Once more the interpreter
wolflike dogs bared their fangs, helped him out.
For an instant, there was only an
"The light that comes from the
eerie, distorted, rapidly growing bubble is an isotope. Like atoms
silhouette, changing from blood- of one element, photons of a sin-
red to black as the boundary of
the bubble cross-sectioned the in-
truding figure. Then they recog-
nized the back of another long-
haired warrior and realized that
the audience on the other side of
the bubble had probably seen
him approaching for some time.
He bowed to the hooded figure
and handed him a small bag.
"More atavistic cubs, big and
little! Hold still, Cynthia," a new
voice cut in.
Hal turned and saw that two
cold-eyed girls had been ushered
into the cubicle. One was wiping
her close-cropped hair with one
hand while mopping a green stain
from her friend's back with the
Had nudged Joggy and whis-
But Joggy was still hypnotized
by the Time Bubble.
"Then how is it, Hal," he asked,
gle frequency also have isotopes.
It's more than a matter of polari-
zation. One of these isotopes of
light tends to leak futureward
through holes in space-time. Most
of the light goes down the vistas
visible to the other side of the
audience. But one isotope is di-
verted through the walls of the
bubble into the Time Theater.
Perhaps, because of the intense
darkness of the theater, you
haven't realized how dimly lit the
scene is. That's because we're get-
ting only a single isotope of the
original light. Incidentally, no iso-
topes have been discovered that
leak pastward, though attempts
are being made to synthesize
"Oh, explanations!" murmured
one of the newly arrived girls.
"The cubs are always angling for
"/ like this show," a familiar
"that light comes out of the bub- voice announced serenely. "They
TIME IN THE ROUND
cut anybody yet with those chop-
Hal looked down beside him.
"Butch! How did you manage to
"I don't see any blood. Where's
"But how did you get in —
rp HE Butcher replied airily : "A
•*" red-headed man talked to me
and said it certainly was sad for
a future dictator not to be able to
enjoy scenes of carnage in his
youth, so I told him Fd been in-
side the Time Theater and just
come out to get a drink of water
and go to the eliminator, but then
my sprained ankle had got worse
— I kind of tried to get up and fell
down again — so he picked me up
and carried me right through the
"Butcher, that wasn't honest,"
Hal said a little worriedly. "You
tricked him into thinking you
were older and his brain waves
blanketed yours, going through
the usher. I really have heard it's
dangerous for you under-fives to
be in here."
"The way those cubs beg for
babying and get it!" one of the
girls commented. "Talk about
sex favoritism!" She and her com-
panion withdrew to the far end
of the cubicle.
The Butcher grinned at them
briefly and concentrated his at-
tention on the scene in the Time
"Those big dogs—" he began
suddenly. "Brute must have
"Don't be silly," Hal said.
"Smells can't come out of the
Time Bubble. Smells haven't any
"I don't care," the Butcher as-
serted. "I bet somebody'll figure
out someday how to use the bub-
ble for time traveling."
"You can't travel in a point of
view," Hal contradicted, "and
that's all the bubble is. Besides,
some scientists think the bubble
isn't real at all, but a — uh
"I believe," the interpreter cut
in smoothly, "that you're thinking
of the theory that the Time Bub-
ble operates by hypermemory.
Some scientists would have us be-
lieve that all memory is time
traveling and that the basic loca-
tion of the bubble is not space-
time at all, but ever-present eter-
nity. Some of them go so far as
to state that it is only a mental
inability that prevents the Time
Bubble from being used for time
traveling — just as it may be a
similar disability that keeps a ro-
bot with the same or even more
scopeful memories from being a
real man or animal.
"It is because of this minority
theory that under-age individuals
and other beings with impulsive
mentalities are barred from the
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
Time Theater. But do not be tality," Hal warned him a little
alarmed. Even if the minority
theory should prove true — and
no evidence for it has ever ap-
peared—there are automatically
operating safeguards to protect
the audience from any harmful
The sorcerer emptied the small
bag on the fire and a thick cloud
of smoke puffed toward the ceil-
ing of the bubble. A clawlike hand
consequences of time traveling waved wildly. The sorcerer ap-
( almost certainly impossible, re-
member) in either direction. ,,
"Sissies!" was the Butcher's
? ? XT OU'RE rather young to be
-*- here, aren't you?" the inter-
The Butcher folded his arms
The interpreter hesitated al-
most humanly, probably snatch-
ing through a quarter-million mi-
crotapes. "Well, you wouldn't
have got in unless a qualified
adult had certified you as plus-
age. Enjoy yourself."
There was no need for the last
injunction. The scene within the
bubble had acquired a gripping
interest. The shaggy warriors
were taking up their swords, gath-
ering about the hooded sorcerer.
The hood fell back, revealing a
face with hawklike, disturbing
eyes that seemed to be looking
straight out of the bubble at the
"This is getting good," the
Butcher said, squirming toward
the edge of his seat.
"Stop being an impulsive men-
peared to be expostulating, com-
manding. The warriors stared un-
comprehendingly, which seemed
to exasperate the sorcerer.
"That's right," the Butcher ap-
proved loudly. "Sock it to 'em!"
"Butcher!" Hal admonished.
Suddenly the bubble grew very
bright, as if the Sun had just
shone forth in the ancient world,
though the rain still dripped
"A viewing anomaly has oc-
curred," the interpreter an-
nounced. "It may be necessary to
collapse the Time Bubble for a
In a frenzy, his ragged robes
twisting like smoke, the sorcerer
rushed at one of the warriors,
pushing him backward so that in
a moment he must cross-section.
"Attaboy!" the Butcher encour-
Then the warrior was standing
outside the bubble, blinking to-
ward the shadows, rain dripping
from his beard and furs.
"Oh, boy!" the Butcher cheered
"Butcher, you've done it!" Hal
TIME IN THE ROUND
"I sure did," the Butcher agreed
blandly, "but that old guy in the
bubble helped me. Must take two
to work it."
Here and there in the audience,
other adults stood up. The
emerged warriors formed a ring
of swinging swords and questing
"Keep your seats!" the inter- eyes. Between their legs their
preter said loudly. "We are ener-
gizing the safeguards!"
r |^HE warriors inside the bub-
-*• ble stared in stupid astonish-
ment after the one who had dis-
appeared from their view. The
sorcerer leaped about, pushing
them in his direction.
Abrupt light flooded the Time
Theater. The warriors who had
emerged from the bubble stiff-
ened themselves, baring their
"The safeguards are now ener-
gized," the interpreter said.
A woman in a short golden
tunic stood up uncertainly from
the front row of the audience.
The first warrior looked her up
and down, took one hesitant step
forward, then another, then sud-
denly grabbed her and flung her
over his left shoulder, looking
around menacingly and swinging
his sword in his right hand.
"I repeat, the safeguards have
been fully energized! Keep your
seats!" the interpreter enjoined.
In the cubicle, Hal and Joggy
gasped, the two girls squeaked,
but the Butcher yelled a "Hey!"
of disapproval, snatched up some-
thing from the floor and darted
out through the sphincter.
wolfish dogs, emerged with them,
crouched and snarled. Then the
warriors began to fan out.
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
"There has been an unavoid-
able delay in energizing the safe-
guards," the interpreter said.
"Please be patient."
At that moment, the Butcher
entered the main auditorium,
brandishing a levitator above his
down the aisle. At his heels, five
stocky forms trotted. In a defi-
nitely pre-civilization voice, or at
least with pre-civilization volume,
he bellowed : "Hey, you! You quit
The first warrior looked toward
head and striding purposefully him, gave his left shoulder a
TIME IN THE ROUND
shake to quiet his wriggling cap-
tive, gave his right shoulder one
to supple his sword arm, and
waited until the dwarfish chal-
lenger came into range. Then his
sword swished down in a flash-
Next moment, the Butcher was
on his knees and the warrior was
staring at him open-mouthed. The
sword had rebounded from some-
thing invisible an arm's length
above the gnomelike creature's
head. The warrior backed a step.
The Butcher stayed down,
crouching half behind an aisle
seat and digging for something in
his pocket. But he didn't stay
quiet. "Sic 'em, Brute!" he shrilled.
"Sic 'em, Darter! Sic 'em, Pinkie
and Whitie and Blue!" Then he
stopped shouting and raised his
hand to his mouth.
i^ 1 ROWLING quite unmechani-
^-* cally, the five uninjes hurled
tKemselves forward and closed
with the warrior's wolflike dogs.
At the first encounter, Brute and
Pinkie were grabbed by the
throats, shaken, and tossed a
dozen feet. The warriors snarled
approval and advanced. But then
Brute and Pinkie raced back ea-
gerly to the fight — and suddenly
the face of the leading warrior
was drenched with scarlet. He
blinked and touched his fingers
to it, then looked at his hand in
The Butcher spared a second
to repeat his command to the un-
injes. But already the battle was
going against the larger dogs. The
latter had the advantage of
weight and could toss the smaller
dogs like so many foxes. But their
terrible fangs did no damage, and
whenever an uninj clamped on a
throat, that throat was torn out.
Meanwhile, great bloody stains
had appeared on the bodies of all
the warriors. They drew back in
a knot, looking at each other fear-
fully. That was when the Butcher
got to his feet and strode forward,
hand clenching the levitator
above his head.
"Get back where you belong,
you big jerks! And drop that
The first warrior pointed to-
ward him and hissed something.
Immediately, a half dozen swords
were smiting at the Butcher.
"We are working to energize
the safeguards," the interpreter
said in mechanical panic. "Re-
main patient and in vour seats."
Th^ unini*»s J««fv»d i^to the
melep. at first tearing more fur
than flesh. Swords caught them
and sent them spinning through
the air. They came yapping back
for more. Brute fixed on the first
warrior's ankle. He dropped the
woman, stamped unavailingly on
the uninj, and let out a screech.
Swords were still rebounding
from the invisible shield under
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
which the Butcher crouched, viewing until further announce-
making terrible faces at his at-
tackers. They drew back, looked
again at their bloodstains, goggled
at the demon dogs. At their lead-
er's screech, they broke and
plunged back into the Time Bub-
ble, their leader stumbling limp-
ingly after them. There they
wasted no time on their own rag-
ged sorcerer. Their swords rose
and fell, and no repulsor field
"Brute, come back!" the Butch-
HP HE gray uninj let go his hold
on the leader's ankle and
scampered out of the Time Bub-
ble, which swiftly dimmed to its
original light intensity and then
For once in their very mature
lives, all of the adults in the au-
ditorium began to jabber at each
"We are sorry, but the anom-
aly has made it necessary to col-
lapse the Time Bubble," the in-
terpreter said. "There will be no
ment. Thank you for your pa-
Hal and Joggy caught up with
the Butcher just as Brute jumped
into his arms and the woman in
gold picked him up and hugged
him fiercely. The Butcher started
to pull away, then grudgingly
"Cubs!" came a small cold voice
from behind Hal and Joggy. "Al-
ways playing hero! Say, what's
that awful smell, Cynthia? It
must have come from those dirty
Hal and Joggy were shouting
at the Butcher, but he wasn't lis-
tening to them or to the older
voices clamoring about "revised
theories of reality" and other im-
portant things. He didn't even
squirm as Brute licked his cheek
and the woman in gold planted a
big kiss practically on his mouth.
He smiled dreamily and stroked
Brute's muzzle and murmured
softly: "We came, we saw, we
conquered, didn't we, Brute?"
We're understandably proud of the fact that our subscribers get
their copies of Galaxy at least a week before the newsstands do . . .
but we can't maintain that enviable record unless, if you're moving, we
get your old and new address promptly! It takes time to change our
records, you know, so send in the data as soon as you have it!
TIME-IN THE ROUND
(Continued From Page 4)
protection, but it has a low sur-
vival value in nature, for it lacks
a mechanism of seed dispersal.
. . . Where, when and how was a
species, once so hardy that it
could survive in the wild, con-
verted to a cultivated plant so
specialized . . . that it would soon
become extinct if deprived of
The search for the origin of
corn is as quietly tense as any
private-eye chase. When Colum-
bus landed in America, all the
modern types were already in ex-
istence. With radio-carbon dating,
we know how old corn is — about
1,000 B.C. in South America,
about 2,000 B.C. in North Ameri-
ca. But Mangelsdorf asks: "In
what part of America did corn
originate? And what kind of wild
grass was it that gave rise to the
multitude of present-day varieties
Closest wild relative: teosinte,
which grows in Guatemala and
Mexico. But hybridizing corn
with tripsacum, a more distant
relative that grows in North and
South America, produces some-
thing very much like teosinte.
Odds, then, are that teosinte, even
though more primitive, is a de-
scendant of corn, not the ances-
tor! (Byproduct hypothesis: Man
may also be the median between
a much superior and much infe-
rior breed. Or we may produce
Homo stupidus in the future.)
Best chance is that corn came
from pod corn, which is "more
than a relative of corn; it is corn
— a form of corn that differs from
cultivated corn in exactly the way
a wild species ought to differ."
Moviegoers ought to be im-
pressed by the fact that pop corn
was eaten so long ago that: "Pot-
tery utensils for popping corn, as
well as actual specimens of the
popped grains, have been found
in prehistoric Peruvian graves."
Bat Cave, in New Mexico, has
an important lesson for us — it
was occupied from 2,000 B.C. to
1,000 a.d. and its tenants let six
feet of garbage accumulate in the
cave. Stratified like soil, the ref-
use showed corn in "a distinct
evolutionary sequence. The old-
est, at the bottom . . . are the
smallest and most primitive."
Modern sanitation is thus a
hindrance to future archeologists.
Time capsules are just what we
think they might be interested in,
whereas it may be something as
mundane to us as corn was to the
Bat Cave people.
Pessimistic writers, seeing only
ill ahead, might note this fact:
"The pressure of natural selec-
tion . . . was greatly reduced" in
the development of corn, result-
ing in a far more valuable plant
than its ancestors, whose only vir-
tue was self-preservation.
— H. L. GOLD
GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION
Looking For Us, Professor?
"Hmm, yes. I was just cogitating upon the causes of GALAXY
Science Fiction's phenomenal growth in popularity.
And that needs an explanation, Professor?"
"Eventually, perhaps. But not in our lifetime.
"We don't agree. Assuming you're right, though, isn't that all
the more reason to want to know what we'll find on other
"1 think I see what you mean.
"Can we achieve immortality?
"Ah. Hum. I've often wondered."
"And travel to different eras in time?"
"That would be exciting."
"And you've been trying to discover why GALAXY is growing
so popular? Every idea we've mentioned— and a lot more, be-
sides—is treated dramatically and vividly in GALAXY! You really
"Umm. How do I subscribe? After all, one shouldn't resist a
trend, should one? Heh, heh!"
"Just fill out the coupon— or make out your own order and
send it in. The coupon's for your convenience, not ours. And now
you'll be one of us!"
"" ~~ """ — ': ~" '
Send me I year subscription to GALAXY $3.50—2 years $6.00
YOUR NAME $
"From a socio-psychological viewpoint, most definitely,
what do you attribute the constant increase of interest?" _
"Well . . . let's try it this way, Professor. Suppose we ask tr'«
questions and you answer them."
"So? A bit unusual, but go right ahead." f |
Do you think atomic doom is the only future for mankind?" J
Not exactly, but the newspapers and the commentators
"Of course. Well, we SHOW other possible futures. Do you
believe we will be able to leave the Earth?"
v.- ■-' 1 ■ m